TreesCharlotte to help stem climate change by planting trees

TreesCharlotte will turn its work of increasing the city’s tree cover into a way for colleges and universities to help fight climate change.

The nonprofit group has partnered with Greensboro’s Urban Offsets to create carbon credits from its tree plantings that can be sold to higher education institutions. Carbon credits represent a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, such as tree plantings, that can be used to compensate for emissions elsewhere.

Scientists say carbon dioxide releases into the atmosphere are the major cause of climate change.

Urban Offsets works with cities to plant trees and sell their carbon credits to schools that have carbon reduction goals. Initially, Urban Offsets will track, verify and set carbon valuations for about 900 trees TreesCharlotte has planted.

“This partnership is a win-win,” said Chuck Cole, executive director of TreesCharlotte. “By creating a new carbon market around our tree planting program, Urban Offsets will provide us with a new funding mechanism while also enabling colleges and universities to purchase credits and make an important investment in Charlotte’s future.”

TreesCharlotte works with the city to reach Charlotte’s goal of attaining a 50 percent tree canopy by 2050, a goal that calls for planting 500,000 trees. Urban Offsets works with higher education institutions including Davidson College, Duke University and Elon University.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender