Regen Network Development (RND), a blockchain software development firm based in Delaware, bought 1 million in carbon credits in what is the biggest deal in U.S. history to date. The announcement made by King County on June 3 states that the credits come from a 46-acre forest in the city of Issaquah, WA.
The money generated will be used by King County, Issaquah, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and other organizations to preserve city forests.
“Our region is now part of the largest sale of urban forest carbon credits in U.S. history, thanks to partnerships among King County, cities and nonprofits,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We will steward the newly protected urban forests so they can continue to absorb carbon, contribute to cleaner air and water, and create more greenspace where people, families, and communities can gather.”
King County and Issaquah purchased the property back in 2018. The county’s portion became part of the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and the city’s part was named Harvey Manning Park Expansion Area. Seattle-based nonprofit City Forest Credits (CFC) oversaw the sale.
The sale will fund forest management programs such as the King County Forest Carbon Program. The program is part of the county’s Land Conservation Initiative, which strives to protect tree canopies and set up more public spaces and parks.
The credits bought by Regen Network Development were issued by CFC, and RND will probably sell the credits to other buyers.
Carbon offsets have proven to be an attractive opportunity for individuals, governments, and companies to counteract fossil fuel burning by investing in the carbon capture capabilities of plants and soil, or in projects that help fund the protection and recovery of natural systems.
Back in 2019, King County was the first local U.S. government that offered CO2 credits, vowing to preserve 100,000 metric tons of CO2 in the span of the first five years. Microsoft – the program’s first local client – agreed to buy all offsets in the first year.
“You know, we’re new to all of this,” said King County Forest Carbon Program Manager Kathleen Wolf. “Between the two, we’ve been on a really steep learning curve as well, just trying to better understand what it takes to get these projects up and running, how the sale of credits can help us make connections with, in particular, local buyers who then become participants.”