In 2007, Mayor Steve Adler pledged that the city of Austin will be carbon neutral by 2020 as part of the Paris Climate Accord. Austin has reduced its carbon footprint significantly through renewable energy purchases and has determined that carbon offsets will be the best way to meet the rest of their goal. For more information on the Mayor’s pledge, visit the Office of Sustainability’s Climate Change webpage.
Carbon+ Credit™ trading through TreeFolks is a way for carbon offsets to be locally produced so that the many co-benefits that come with tree planting projects, such as human health improvements and increased energy savings, can also be felt by area residents. Using funds allocated for carbon offsets to purchase local credits from tree planting keeps our investments in the City of Austin’s communities.
What is a carbon offset?
A carbon offset is generated in the form of carbon credits. One carbon credit is equal to a single metric ton of carbon dioxide that has been sequestered from the atmosphere. The carbon credits TreeFolks generates through City Forest Credits© are known as Carbon+ Credits™ because they take into account more ecosystem services than just carbon sequestration. These credits track runoff reduction, air quality improvements, and regional savings in heating and cooling costs.
For instance, 1 acre of trees in Austin will generate 106.7 credits over 25 years, and at maturity can annually stop more than 26,000 gallons of stormwater runoff, provide nearly $60 worth of air improvements, and save energy customers over $430.
TreeFolks continues to work closely with Austin’s Watershed Protection Department and Parks and Recreation Department in order to reforest public lands and generate carbon offsets. Travis County Floodplain Reforestation Program will pilot the generation of carbon offsets in eastern Travis County on both public and private lands.
If you own streamside land with minimal canopy cover in eastern Travis County and are interested in having your land reforested at no charge to you, click here to learn more about our Travis County Floodplain Reforestation Program.