The reality of climate change brought on by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere presents challenges to conservation practitioners. This guide examines how conservation easements may be better planned to deliver good conservation outcomes even as a changing climate affects the physical conditions on the land. The guide also reviews opportunities to boost carbon sequestration on lands under easement.
The possibility of granting carbon rights to the easement holder may be considered during the development of a conservation easement. This presents substantial complexity that can be avoided by instead giving the holder control over the entity that may receive carbon credits or assigning to the holder some or all of the proceeds of sale of carbon credits.
A number of carbon offset programs are problematic. Nevertheless, it is sensible to ensure that newly drafted grants of conservation easement clearly permit offset projects (whether or not such projects ever materialize).