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The Climate Trust Buys First Avoided Forest Conversion Offsets in the California Market

Published: July 15, 2024 by Editorial Team

PORTLAND, Ore.The Climate Trust, a mission-driven nonprofit that specializes in financing climate solutions, today announced the receipt of the first-ever California Carbon Offsets (CCOs) from an Avoided Forest Conversion project. The Green Assets-Middleton Place project conserves more than 3,700 acres of pristine southern coastal habitat near Charleston, S.C.

The Climate Trust purchased 243,375 carbon credits from the project’s owner Middleton Place. This is equivalent to the annual electricity use of over 65% of the households in the city of Charleston.

Avoided Conversion projects prevent forestland from being converted to non-forestland use by dedicating the property to continuous forest cover. Additionally, Middleton Place makes a concerted effort to manage its forest resources for sustainability and the provision of critical habitat for a diversity of wildlife.

“The Climate Trust is pleased to engage in the California compliance market and purchase credits from a highly-esteemed project that achieves such significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions,” said Dick Kempka, chief commercial officer for The Climate Trust. “This Avoided Forest Conversion project also generates considerable societal co-benefits by preserving flora and fauna, and allowing for recreational opportunities such as fishing, hiking, kayaking and horseback riding.”

The Middleton property holds extraordinary historical importance for this region of South Carolina and is a significant cultural point of interest in the United States. Adjacent to the forestland associated with the carbon project area lies Middleton Place. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Middleton Place is home to America’s oldest landscaped gardens. Envisioned and created by Henry Middleton in 1741, the gardens have been recognized by the Garden Club of America as “the most interesting and important gardens in America.”

“We appreciate The Climate Trust’s significant commitment to the environment, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Hunter Parks, President & CEO of Green Assets. “With our expertise in helping landowners to establish carbon-offset credit programs, it was a pleasure working with The Climate Trust team to secure the purchase of carbon credits from Middleton Place.”

“We are proud to transact on a project that marries conservation, a market based return, and environmental markets so significantly,” said Sean Penrith, executive director for The Climate Trust. “This acquisition reflects our continual desire to put a price on our climate and its natural resources, as we position ourselves as an investment fund designed to finance environmental credits across North America.”


The Climate Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with 18 years of carbon financing experience. Our mission is transforming the economy to value our climate. In order to arrest the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change, The Climate Trust works to accelerate project implementation, develop financing solutions, and establish a supportive policy environment in the agriculture, forestry and biogas sectors.

Green Assets, Inc. is an environmental asset development company that benefits landowners by creating recurring revenue streams through carbon-offset credit programs and expert land management practices. Headquartered in Wilmington, N.C., the company specializes in forestry-based carbon-credit projects, including improved forest management, avoided conversion, and reforestation projects. For more information, please visit