Graham Sustainability Institute

Evaluating Carbon Offsets in Michigan State Forests

April 2020

Carbon sequestration is the process by which carbon dioxide is removed or stored to reduce the effects of climate change. Forests are considered an important factor in storing carbon, and the carbon sink potential, the degree to which carbon dioxide is absorbed through natural processes, of Michigan forests can be quite large. A Dow Fellows team worked with the Michigan Chapter of The Nature Conservancy to explore the possibility of selling sequestered carbon in the form of carbon credits from improved forest management strategies in the Michigan State Forest system. The team completed multiple interviews to gain a baseline knowledge of how carbon offset markets work. They developed a set of recommendations for the state of Michigan to pursue carbon offsets. This work can serve as a template for other states to implement carbon offsets. 

Location: Michigan
Project Advisor: Prof. Michael Moore
Project Team: Marc Jaruzel, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; Clare Cutler, School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS); Amanda Willis, Ross School of Business; and Kanchan Swaroop, College of Engineering and SEAS