Assessing the Carbon Capture Potential of a Reforestation Project

Assessing the Carbon Capture Potential of a Reforestation Project


Reforestation projects are receiving more and more attention due to their potential to sequester carbon and limit the increase of the global average temperature above 2 Celsius degrees. Consequently, is important to evaluate the accuracy of the GHG capture results made by the increasingly funded reforestation platforms.


This study seeks to test the affirmations made by classic reforestation platforms. To do so, researchers uses a life cycle assessment to 1) calculate the carbon footprint of setting up and maintaining a tropical reforestation plot for one year, 2) provide a carbon capture profile of this tropical reforestation plot, and 3) contrast their results with the claims been made by a typical reforestation platform.


The study shows that not all planted trees will reach maturity because reforested areas can sustain a maximum number of individuals of a given size. Contrary to what some reforestation platforms argue, the authors estimated a period of at least 4.1 years for a lowland tropical reforestation plot to reach the 100 kg CO2 capture-per-tree. Therefore, the credits should not be recognized as contributing to a company’s greenhouse gas budget until the carbon has been sequestered and validated.


Lefebvre D, Williams AG, Kirk GJD, et al. Assessing the carbon capture potential of a reforestation project. Scientific Reports. 2021;11(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-021-99395-6.