Oak Hill Advisors – a prominent debt investor that manages $52 billion, has teamed up with carbon credits firm Bluesource to purchase one million acres of North American woodlands.
The purchase is valued at $500 million, with the main goal to manage the properties and generate forest offsets.
Adam Kerzner, Senior Partner and Portfolio Manager at Oak Hill, said, “We view this to be an incredibly large opportunity. This transition is happening in real-time, and forestry assets continue to be a measurable way of removing carbon from the atmosphere. We’re excited about the ability to invest in attractive assets while also providing significant environmental benefit.”
Other big companies, such as Microsoft Corp. and BP PLC, are on the hunt for offsets as well – to show investors their commitment towards achieving climate change goals.
Though many companies are developing technology to reduce their emissions or even capture and store their emissions, carbon credits are an effective and immediate way to offset carbon, improve the environment, and even stimulate economic development, which is why interest is at an all-time high.
Last year, BP purchased a controlling stake in Bluesource’s rival Finite Carbon, and J.P. Morgan Asset Management purchased a timberland investment firm as well. Even Weyerhaeuser Co. – one of the largest private U.S. Forest owners and timber producers – will be stepping into the offset industry since the price of carbon credits is more than what they could earn through the timber on specific properties.
According to Kevin Townsend, Bluesource’s Chief Commercial Officer, “The properties we’re looking for are properties that won’t be managed sustainably, that are not going to do sequestration without a sale.”
With the COP26 summit just around the corner, governments and companies alike are working fervently to meet regulations set by the Paris Agreement, and carbon offsets have a significant role to play.
Right now, the global carbon market is expected to reach $22 trillion by 2050.