Carbon Market Opportunities in Virginia: Eelgrass, Marshes, Soils, and Forests
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Carbon Market Opportunities in Virginia: Eelgrass, Marshes, Soils, and Forests

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    Carbon sequestration is the storage and capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Preserving carbon sequestering sources helps mitigate climate change. Eelgrass, marshes, soils, and forests all sequester carbon. Unfortunately, they are vulnerable to climate change and human development. This paper examines how these sources of carbon sequestration can be incorporated into Virginia’s climate change policies, including the creation of a carbon market. Among other aims, a carbon market would incentivize the preservation and restoration of these species, providing important environmental and economic benefits. The first section of this paper identifies several sources of carbon sequestration, as well as their susceptibility to climate change and human behavior. The second section of this paper contains a summary of properly functioning carbon markets such as those in California and the European Union. This section also details how carbon markets can be corrupted and defrauded by bad actors. The paper then explores recent Virginia legislation regarding carbon market participation.1 This analysis aims to provide a foundation for how carbon markets can thrive in Virginia.
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