Duke Energy Generates Carbon Offsets through the Planting of 1 Million Trees
In 2009, Duke Energy became the lead investor in GreenTrees, a program that aims to generate carbon offsets through the reforestation of 1 million acres in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley.
The valley is the nation’s largest watershed and covers about 25 million acres in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois. More than 80 percent of the valley, once mostly forest and emergent wetlands, has been cleared for farming, resulting in the loss of natural habitat. Our initial investment funded the planting of more than 1 million trees on approximately 1,700 acres in Arkansas.
GreenTrees transforms open and marginal farmland into a sustainable ecosystem that captures large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2), creates habitat for wildlife, and benefits landowners who commit to the long-term reforestation of their property.
GreenTrees plants 302 cottonwood and 302 hardwood trees per acre. The fast-growing cottonwoods create a canopy that encourages hardwood growth, turning the land into a forest setting in three to five years.
We expect our GreenTrees investment to generate high-quality, verifiable carbon offsets that may help reduce our cost of compliance with potential federal climate change legislation.