Government launches £50 million tree-planting scheme

The Government has officially launched a £50 million scheme aimed towards increasing tree-planting rates in an effort to boost carbon sequestration.

The Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme was announced today, Monday, November 4, and it is hoped that it will encourage farmers and landowners to plant more trees and create more woodland in return for payment.

According to a Government statement, the scheme will give “land managers in England the long-term financial income they need to invest in carbon sequestration”.

Successful participants will be offered the option to sell ‘woodland carbon units’ to the Government over 35 years at a guaranteed price set by auction.

Zac Goldsmith, Minister for Forestry and Climate adaption, said: “Woodland creation is an excellent way to help combat the effects of climate change.

“By supporting farmers and land managers who decide to invest in tree planting, we are making sure we tackle climate change through nature-based solutions and – as part of our 25-year environment plan – help leave the environment in a better state than we found it.

“The Woodland Carbon Guarantee means that now – more than ever – there is no reason to delay planting trees,” the minster concluded.

Funding for this scheme was announced by the Treasury in the 2018 Autumn Budget. The Government is planning to plant 11 million trees by 2022.

Sir Harry Studholme, chair of the Forestry Commission, commented: “The Woodland Carbon Guarantee is an innovative new financial incentive for the mitigation of carbon dioxide emissions.

“By underpinning the carbon price I hope it will give confidence to landowners and investors, and encourage the planting of the right kind of trees at a viable scale,” he added.

“Creating more woodland is vital in the fight against climate change, and the guarantee provides land managers with long-term certainty of a guaranteed payment rate for carbon,” added Sir Harry.

I urge all land managers and owners thinking about planting to look at the scheme and apply for the Woodland Carbon Guarantee ahead of the first auction which will be held early next year.

To apply for the scheme, land managers will have to register their projects with the Woodland Carbon Code, which can be done here.