Extension Service workshop digs in to climate legislation

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Warren County Extension Service and the Warren County Forestry Association are hosts for a midsummer educational workshop called U.S. Carbon Market and Forestry: National Climate Change Legislation and Its Affect on Forestry Offsets.

If you go

U.S. Carbon Market and Forestry: National Climate Change Legislation and Its Affect on Forestry Offsets, a workshop, will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 15 at the Warren County Extension Office, 1100-C Grove St. Cost is $35 for individuals or $50 for couples. Register by July 7. Call 601-636-5442.

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Set for 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 15, the program will be broadcast statewide by the Mississippi State University Extension Service via its interactive video network and will be presented locally at the Extension Office on Grove Street, in the conference room.

Landowners, professional foresters, investors and others interested in the carbon trading market will find this workshop an excellent opportunity. Professional foresters can obtain six hours of continuing forestry education credits in category 1-CF.

The fee is $35 for individuals or $50 for couples and includes a course book with lecture notes and reference materials, refreshments and lunch. Couples will share materials. The deadline to register is July 7, and space is limited.

Forest landowners have heard the buzz about carbon credits for some years now, but there has been considerable confusion over how one could cash in on the concept. Important to foresters and landowners are:

One Carbon Credit: One metric ton or tone of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere. Carbon credits can be thought of in two general categories, sequestration (capturing CO2 from the atmosphere) and carbon dioxide saving (emissions control).

Forestry Offset: A forestry project (such as tree planting or management) that counteracts or offsets carbon that would have been emitted into the atmosphere.

Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX):  The only U.S. registry currently trading in carbon. Offset aggregators represent landowners at the Exchange.

Forest Protocols: The type of forest activity and the guidelines one must follow to qualify for carbon credits. Currently, CCX has approved forestry protocols for tree planting and managed forests.

Wood to CO2: Roughly 1.7 US tons (green weight) of wood growth is needed to remove 1 ton of CO2 from the atmosphere.

The lineup of presentations for this workshop is phenomenal and begins with the U.S. administration’s views on the carbon market by a representative of the Office of Energy and Climate Change.

Others presenters are:

• Todd Wooton, director of the Southeastern Climate Resource Center, Duke University — Can U.S. Forestry Play a Role in GHG Reduction Through the Carbon Market as it Moves Toward Federal Regulation and International Rules.

• Al Todd, assistant director of Ecosystem Services & Markets, USDA Forest Service — Status of Climate Change Legislation in Relation to Forests: National Perspective.

• R. Neil Sampson, owner of the Sampson Group — The Affect of Climate Legislation on Forestry in the Southeast United States.

• Murali Kananski, CCX vice president and senior economist — The Present Carbon Market and Possible Future Aspects under Cap and Trade Policy.

• David Miller, director of AgraGate — Earning Forestry Offset Credits: Landowner Responsibilities Under Various Protocols.

• Foster Dickard, USA Region Rainforest Alliance — The Verification Process.

• Robert Grala, MSU Forestry Department — The Economic Value of Carbon to Mississippi Forest Landowners.

John C. Coccaro is county Extension director. Write to him at 1100-C Grove St., Vicksburg, MS 39180 or call 601-636-5442. E-mail him at jcoccaro@ext.msstate.edu