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    5. Tree Planting and Carbon Credits

    Thank you for all of your hard work! By this point, you have learned a little about what TIST does and the values that guide TIST members.

    Now we will learn how tree planting and the carbon market provide cash for TIST farmers. First you will learn about carbon.


  • What is Carbon?

    Carbon is all around us, yet we can't see it, touch it, or taste it - so what is it? This video explains what carbon is and how it is essential to all life on Earth. You will also learn why burning fuel is harmful to the environment and contributes to climate change. Understanding this relationship is important to understanding the TIST Program and why tree planting is so important to all that TIST does.

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    What is the Carbon Cycle?

    Now that you understand what carbon is and how important it is to all life on Earth, it is important to understand the carbon cycle.

    In the last section, you learned that carbon enters the atmosphere as CO2 when we burn carbon based fuel. CO2 is a greenhouse gas (also known as a GHG), which warms the planet and contributes to climate change. So burning carbon based fuel directly leads to climate change.

    However, there are ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere in a process called the carbon cycle.

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    What is the Carbon Market?

    The carbon market is central to TIST's model, and it is how TIST farmers are able to earn money by planting trees with TIST. But what is the Carbon Market?  This section explains the carbon market in greater detail, using a video that explains the carbon market and then using a series of images to explain how TIST farmers participate in the carbon market.  


  • Benefiting from the Carbon Market

    As a farmer in a TIST Small Group, you will be able to participate in the global carbon credit market. This section explains how you can do this as a TIST Small Group member by discussing how TIST is able to create revenue from Carbon Credit business. This will show how you, as a farmer, can benefit from the planting and growing trees.

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    Join a Small Group

    TIST Farmers join a small group with the goal of helping the environment by planting and maintaining trees.

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    Sign GHG Contract

    The TIST Small Group signs a Green House Gas, or GHG, contract with TIST’s parent company, called Clean Air Action Corporation (CAAC).

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    Plant and Maintain Trees

    With this contract, the Small Group agrees to a 60 year contract where trees are to be planted and maintained for at least 30 years, and CAAC agrees to share in the profits from the tree planting.

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    Measure the Trees

    After the trees grow and mature for a period of 3-5 years, a TIST staff member will visit the Small Group and and count the trees and measure the tree growth.

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    Calculating Carbon

    By measuring the trees, TIST can calculate the amount of carbon the trees have taken out of the air. This allows CAAC to calculate the carbon sequestered by those trees.

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    Verify the Carbon

    TIST hires third party verifiers to make sure this measurement is accurate.

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    Carbon Credit

    Clean Air Action Corporation then creates a carbon credit from the amount of carbon trees have taken out of the air.

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    Selling the Carbon Credit

    Companies then buy this carbon credit from Clean Air Action Corporation.

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    Sharing Profits with Farmers

    Clean Air Action Corporation then shares the profit from the sale of the carbon credit with the TIST farmers, as agreed in the GHG contract.

  • Participating in the Carbon Market

    Every TIST Farmer is able to participate in these benefits of the carbon business. However, a tree is not eligible to be part of the carbon business and generate a carbon credit until it is at least 2 meters high. This can take 5-10 years, meaning that a TIST tree will not be eligible for profit sharing for 5-10 years after it is planted.


    To help farmers maintain trees during this period, TIST offers a "pre-payment." When a TIST farmer plants a new tree, the farmer will receive a small amount of money to maintain that tree. This pre-payment is issued once per year. Then, when a tree reaches maturity, it is eligible for the carbon money.

    The next training explores this in greater detail. Ready to learn more? Click the button below for the next training.
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