Oil producer Guyana is first country in the world to be issued jurisdictional carbon credits

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The Architecture for REDD+ Transactions (ART) has issued the world’s first TREES credits to Guyana, it announced Thursday. It said this marks a milestone, making Guyana the first country in the world to be issued carbon credits specifically designed for the voluntary and compliance carbon markets for successfully preventing forest loss and degradation.

For context, REDD+ is a framework created by the United Nations to guide activities in the forest sector that Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation. TREES is a REDD+ Environmental Excellence Standard.

Following completion of an independent validation and verification process and approval by the ART Board of Directors, ART has issued 33.47 million TREES credits to Guyana for the five-year period from 2016 to 2020. These serialised credits, listed on ART’s public registry, are available to buyers on the global carbon market, as well as for use toward voluntary corporate climate commitments.

President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali plans to sign the first sale agreement for Guyana’s forest carbon credits at a ceremony to be held at his official residence later today.

Forests: the key to Guyana’s low carbon development strategy | OilNOW

Guyana is a net-zero global carbon emitter, owing to its vast forest cover. According to Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030, the country’s 18 million hectares of forest store over 19.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2). Statistics show that over the last decade (2010-2020), Guyana’s rate of deforestation in any given year has not exceeded 0.08%, while the global tropical deforestation rate has exceeded 0.5% every year.

Guyana had received funds from Norway over the years for its forest stewardship. It plans to use the proceeds from future sales of carbon credits to fund initiatives laid out in its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030.

President Ali has said that though forest carbon services are a tremendous good on their own, they come at a sacrifice to development, which Guyana has maintained for the global good.

ART said Guyana’s completion of the ART process paves the way for other governments that are looking to receive carbon market finance for success in protecting and restoring forests. Currently, 14 other countries and large sub-national jurisdictions are working toward their own issuances of TREES credits.

Guyana to amplify marketing of standing forests with national carbon registry | OilNOW

Frances Seymour, the Chair of the ART Board, congratulated Guyana for this achievement. “ART, other governments, and important stakeholder groups, especially Indigenous Peoples and local communities, around the world can now build on Guyana’s experience to accelerate progress towards meeting global forest and climate goals in ways that ensure environmental and social integrity.”

Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said ambitious progress is possible – in Guyana and elsewhere – if the peoples of forests countries designed the way forward so that action on forests supported their development aspirations.

He said, “we are pleased that ART-TREES was created to help accelerate global climate action – by recognizing what forest countries like Guyana have long called for: that the time for small-scale pilots and projects is long past, the world needs jurisdiction-scale action to make the required impact, and the world also needs to value the ecosystem services that tropical forests provide.”


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