April 04, 2008

Tribes trading carbon credits

Tribes urged to prepare for possible federal carbon incentivesMany tribes already have key ingredients for making carbon capture work, namely large amounts of land, trained staff and positive commitments to the environment. Trees and crops that suck carbon out of the air are already being grown on tribal lands or could be in the future. Scientists, too, have been working on ways to safely store carbon underground and in land formations, which could one day be another way for land-rich tribes to garner carbon capture incentives.

A financial institution called the Chicago Climate Exchange is already helping some tribes achieve modest financial gains by trading carbon credits, despite the lack of a federal cap and trade system thus far. The entirely voluntary-based member institution is currently believed to be North America's only market that allows for legally binding carbon credit trading.

The Nez Perce Tribe has been a leader in trading credits on the CCX, based on tree-planting the tribe has done on its lands since 2003. The Assiniboine Sioux, Fort Peck Indian Reservation and Northern Cheyenne tribes are all believed to be currently working plans to trade carbon credits as well.

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