A joint report has been released by Tierra Resources, The Climate Trust and Entergy estimating that carbon finance revenue can create as much as $1.6 billion for wetland restoration.
The Gulf South regional players, along with Portland-based The Climate Trust, are building expertise on research, education, business development and job creation in the coastal restoration and environmental space.
The report examined existing wetland restoration techniques—river diversions, hydrologic restoration, wetland assimilation, and mangrove plantings—and identified areas for future work to support carbon offset programs in innovative ways, including ways to evaluate blue carbon (the carbon captured by coastal ecosystems) in Louisiana.
“The results of this study demonstrate that carbon finance has substantial potential to generate important revenue to support wetland restoration,” said lead author Dr. Sarah Mack, President and CEO of Tierra Resources. “Furthermore, this study points to Louisiana as an innovator of creative financing strategies for wetland restoration, and as creating new investment opportunities that will yield substantial economic and environmental benefits.”
Findings show that restoration in Louisiana has the potential to produce over 1.8 million offsets per year; almost 92 million offsets over 50 years. Depending on the dollar value of carbon offsets, the techniques identified could generate anywhere from $400 million to $1 billion with an additional nearly $630 million by including prevented wetland loss in the carbon accounting, which is where the $1.6 billion figure comes from.
“By capitalizing on the economic benefits offered through carbon credits, more of Louisiana’s wetlands can be restored and preserved,” says Chuck Barlow, vice president for environmental strategy & policy for Entergy. “Eventually, this work in Louisiana can be expanded to address other critical wetland areas throughout the nation and the world, making this study a first step, with the potential for major global impact.”