Carbon trading is making large-scale projects that cultivate native vegetation economically viable. Sales of credits for forest restoration average $20 each, up from $7 a year ago, according to OPIS. Global carbon markets are worth more than $1 billion today. Morgan Stanley says the market will likely grow to $250 billion by 2050.
In June, Britain’s AstraZeneca said it was investing $400 million in forest restorations in Brazil, India, Vietnam, Ghana and Rwanda as part of a strategy to reach net zero emissions by planting 200 million native trees by 2030. Nearly $62 million was pledged to an Ambipar project in São Paulo, Brazil’s most industrialized state, to regrow up to 290 square miles of rainforest destroyed nearly a century ago. Plinio Ribeiro, chief executive at Ambipar Decarbon, said he needs to sell credits for at least $30 each to finance projects carried out by Ambipar on once-denuded land in farm-rich São Paulo state. Each credit is equivalent to one metric ton of CO2 removed from the atmosphere.