DOES A COOL EARTH PARTNERSHIP LOCK IN CO2 INDEFINITELY?
A forest protection agreement is signed at the beginning of every village partnership that agrees that Cool Earth funding will be given as long as trees are only cut for subsistence, leading to negligible forest loss. Budgets must be approved by the community as a whole and fall under one of several general spending categories including poverty, health, education, sustainable incomes and biodiversity.
This is really important, as our previous partnerships have shown that by investing in these things, communities can make more money over the long term from sustainable income streams (like coffee, cacao, and jewellery) than they would from selling their trees. This means that we can be confident that there will be negligible forest loss in Cool Earth’s partnerships whilst the communities are living – and making a living – in the area.
Our data refers to projects implemented to date. By applying our model to different local conditions, we face new challenges and gain valuable learning. Our strict monitoring and evaluation framework helps to ensure that Cool Earth partnerships are as future-proof as possible.
HOW DO YOU WORK OUT HOW MUCH CARBON IS STORED IN AN ACRE?
We use the latest research on carbon storage. There is no significant variation in the type or density of forests protected in Cool Earth partnerships and the most current research suggests that 260 tonnes of carbon per acre of primary rainforest is at the lower level: most rainforest stores between 260 and 340 tonnes per acre in above-ground biomass. It’s worth pointing out that our figures don’t include soil or other below-ground carbon storage, which increases the carbon storage capacity of rainforests many times over. As no two patches of rainforest are the same, we’ve gone for a conservative estimate.
Our figures for each partnership, and our average CO2 per acre figure, come from the following research papers:
Peru: 233 (Saatchi et al (2011) PNAS)
DRC: 270 (Kearsley et al (2013) Nature Communications)
PNG: 313 (Vincent et al (2015) Austral Ecology)
HOW DO I CALCULATE MY (OR MY BUSINESS’) CARBON FOOTPRINT?
Cool Earth doesn’t have a carbon footprint calculator but if you’d like to work out the carbon emissions you or your business cause, we recommend the Carbon Calculator that our partners Planet First have developed. You can download the calculator here.