One of Alaska’s biggest oil companies is getting into the business of trees to help address climate change.
At an industry conference January 18th in Anchorage, BP Alaska president Janet Weiss [Weese] announced the company has developed two carbon credit offset projects, with Native corporations Ahtna and Sealaska.
Carbon offsetting is a mechanism that allows a company like BP to pay a landowner to maintain a forest. The trees take in carbon dioxide as they grow, helping make up for the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Weiss says the Native corporations have agreed to maintain the forests they manage for at least 100 years. The program is verified through California — the state regulates greenhouse gas emissions and allows big emitters to buy carbon credits.
Beyond that, details on BP’s carbon offset projects are limited.
Weiss didn’t say what percentage of BP Alaska’s greenhouse gas emissions are being offset, or how much money is involved in the deals.
Ahtna declined to comment. Sealaska, however, has previously announced it was setting aside 165,000 acres of forest to use as a carbon bank. Sealaska says that allows the company to sell 9.3 million carbon credits — representing 9.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. A Sealaska spokeswoman confirmed BP will be the corporation’s main buyer for its current projects.