Model law

The Tree Planting Incentive (Carbon Storage Bill)

Owen's Law

Creates a long-term government incentive to kickstart infrastructure scale investment in tree planting in a similar vein to the Solar Feed In Tariff.

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Why use this?

Whilst there is a government scheme to provide capital grants for landowners to create woodland, these do not create the long term “bankable” income required to mobilise the infrastructure scale finance required.

The new model law anticipates that the Forestry Commission will administer the scheme in the same way it does the Woodland Carbon Guarantee.

The existing schemes of capital grants would be replaced by investor equity, but the Woodland Carbon Guarantee would remain.

The tariff could have different rates depending on the type of land that is used for planting to encourage re-wilding and a shift from carbon intensive farming whilst providing a long-term replacement income for farmers. It assumes a weighting for native trees.

How it promotes a net zero future

The global move away from plastic packaging will increase the demand for paper-based products at a time when we need to be preserving trees.

The proposed legislation will accelerate the infrastructure scale planting of trees in the UK required to hit the Net Zero target by 2050. It would complement and not replace the Woodland Carbon Guarantee.

This bill will provide certainty of price and return for investors to enable billions of pounds to flow into tree planting.

The law

The Tree Planting Incentive (Carbon Storage) Bill

A BILL TO

Provide for infrastructure scale investment in tree planting as a way to capture and store carbon in order to transition the UK to net zero emissions and mitigate climate change.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Part 1: Introductory provisions

Citation and commencement

  1. This Order may be cited as the Tree Planting Incentive (Carbon Storage) 2020 and comes into force on 1st December 2020.

Interpretation

  1. (1) In this Act:

“accreditation” means approval by the Authority of an eligible woodland as an accredited TPI woodland under Part 3, unless the context otherwise requires;

“accredited TPI woodland” means an eligible woodland which has been given accreditation; “the Authority” means the Forestry Commission;

“brownfield land” means any land registered on the Brownfield Land Register in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017;

“carbon capture” means the photosynthesis of carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and wood;

“central TPI register” means the register kept and maintained by the Authority for the purpose of recording details of TPI Creators and their declared carbon capacity;

“confirmation date”; means, in relation to an eligible woodland, the date on which the TPI Creator is entered onto the central TPI register by the Authority, such that the eligible woodland becomes an accredited TPI woodland;

“CPCS” means the Carbon Planting Certification Scheme or equivalent schemes which certify the type of woodland and planting in accordance with the Authority’s required standards;

“CPCS certificate” means a certificate given under the CPCS;

“CPCS-certified woodland”; means an eligible woodland which has received a CPCS certificate; 

“CPCS-certified registration”; means the process whereby an eligible woodland confirmed as CPCS certified is entered onto the central TPI register by the Authority;

“community woodland” has the meaning given in article 8;

“deemed capacity”; means the carbon captured by an accredited TPI woodland in 1 year which is deemed to be a percentage of the declared carbon capacity where:(a) the trees planted on a Site are in the process of maturing to full capacity; (b) where woodlands are thinned or harvested over time; and (c) determination by the Secretary of State of the percentage or a methodology for determining it;

“declared carbon capacity”; means, in relation to an accredited TPI woodland, the maximum amount of carbon that woodland can capture in one year as determined by using the Woodland Carbon Code Calculation Spreadsheet, measured in tonnes of carbon per annum;

“eligibility date”; means, in relation to an accredited TPI woodland, the date determined pursuant to article 8(5).

“eligibility period” means the period from the date of commencement of this Act and ending 31 December 31 December 2050;

“eligible woodland” means any area of trees planted on a site for the primary purpose of carbon capture and storage.

“extension” means an increase in the size or tree stock of a woodland for the primary purpose of carbon capture and storage to capture carbon;

“greenfield land” means any land above 0.25 ha in size which is being considered for urban development but has not yet been developed;

“grant from public funds” means a grant made by a public authority or by any person distributing funds on behalf of a public authority;

“intensive dairy farmland” means land which at the time of applying for accreditation is used as a dairy farm with a herd of [50 or 100] cows or more and such use has been for a period of the last 5 continuous years.

“native trees” means those trees listed in Schedule 3

“nominated recipient” means a person appointed by a TPI Creator to receive TPI payments in respect of an accredited TPI woodland owned by that TPI Creator and recorded as the nominated recipient such on the central TPI register; 

“owner” means, in relation to any eligible woodland the freehold or leasehold owner of the site, and in all other contexts it shall bear its ordinary meaning, and owned as a verb shall be construed accordingly;

“relevant percentage” means in relation to the different types of land:

(a) 10% – for the maintenance existing native woodlands
(b) 30% – for planting non native trees on a Site
(c) 100% – for planting native trees on a greenfield site
(d) 150% – for planting native trees on a brownfield site
(e) 200% – for planting native trees on land converted from intensive dairy farmland

“site” means any land in England and Wales; “tariff code” has the meaning given in article 13; 

“TPI” means Tree-Planting-Incentive;

“TPI Creator” means:(a) in relation to an accredited TPI woodland, the person identified as the owner of such woodland in the central TPI register; and(b) in relation to any other eligible woodland, the owner of such woodland, whether or not that person is also managing or intended to manage the eligible woodland

“TPI payment” means the sum paid to the TPI creator or nominated recipient, as applicable, by the Authority, for the carbon captured by accredited TPI woodland in any period, calculated by reference to article 13;

“TPI tariff” means the amount payable to a TPI Creator or nominated recipient by the Authority per tonne of carbon captured by an accredited TPI woodland; and

“TPI year” means the year commencing on 1st April and ending on 31st March numbered sequentially from TPI Year 1 (being 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021) 

 

Part 2: Specified maximum capacity

Specified maximum size

  1. The specified maximum size of an eligible woodland is [500] Ha of total land planted with trees.

 

Part 3: Accreditation and matters relating to accreditation

CHAPTER 1

Accreditation

Application of this Chapter

  1. This Chapter applies where—

(a) an application is made to the Authority for accreditation of an eligible woodland which is to be planted on a Site which is:

(i) Greenfield Land;
(ii) Brownfield Land; or
(iii) Intensive Dairy Farmland; or

(b) an application has been made to the Authority for accreditation to maintain an eligible woodland which existed prior to this Act.

Accreditation of eligible woodlands

(1)  The Authority must only approve an eligible woodland as an accredited TPI woodland as provided by this article.

(2)  The Authority must accredit an eligible woodland if article 6 is satisfied but must not do so if article 7 applies.

(3)  Where the Authority accredits an eligible woodland, it may attach such conditions as it considers appropriate.

(4)  Where the Authority accredits an eligible woodland as an accredited TPI woodland, it must—

(a) update the central TPI register; and

(b) in the case of an eligible woodland accredited further to an application mentioned in article 4(a), give notice to the person who made that application of the accreditation and any conditions attached to it.

(5)  Where the Authority determines that a woodland is not entitled to accreditation, it must give notice of its decision to the person who made that application.

(6)  A notice given under paragraph (5) must include reasons why the woodland was not accredited.

Exceptions to accreditation applicable to all eligible woodlands

  1. (1) The Authority shall accredit an eligible woodland as an accredited TPI woodland where:

(a) the eligible woodland which is the subject of an application does not exceed the specified maximum size set out in article 3;

(b) if the woodland is an extension to:

(i) an accredited TPI woodland; or
(ii) another woodland,

the aggregate total size of the extension and the woodland referred to in paragraph (i) or (ii) does not exceed the specified maximum size; or

(c) the woodland has the benefit of a contract under the Woodland Carbon Guarantee Scheme.

(2) The Authority must not accredit an eligible woodland as an accredited TPI woodland unless the TPI creator has given notice to the Authority that:

(a) other than a Woodland Creation Grant, no grant from public funds has been made in respect of any of the costs of purchasing or planting the woodland; or

(b) where any such grant has been made, the grant has been repaid to the person or authority which made it.

Limit on numbers of eligible woodlands planting non- Native Trees

(1) Paragraph (3) applies once the Authority has accredited [10,000] Ha of relevant eligible woodlands.

(2) “Relevant eligible woodland” means a woodland that has more than 75% non-Native Trees in its tree stock

(3) Where this paragraph applies, the Authority must not accredit any more relevant eligible woodlands.

CHAPTER 2 – Preliminary accreditation and pre-registration Pre-registration of community woodlands

(1) This article applies where a community organisation proposes to plant or maintain a community woodland which is not an extension.

(2) The Authority must, upon receiving an application by a community organisation for pre- registration of a community woodland referred to in paragraph (1), which the Authority is satisfied meets the conditions in paragraph (3):

(a) pre-register the woodland; and

(b) give notice to the applicant of the pre-registration, and the period for which it is valid.

(3)  The conditions are that the application:

(a) specifies:

(i) the type and number of Native Trees to be planted in the woodland;
(ii) the total declared carbon capacity of the woodland;
(iii) the address of the Site on which the woodland will be planted;

(b) is accompanied by:

(i) evidence that the applicant is a community organisation; and
(ii) contains such other information as the Authority may require.

(4)  A pre-registration under this article is valid for one year beginning with the date on which the Authority received the application for pre-registration.

(5)  If an application for TPI Payments for a pre-registered community woodland is received by the Authority during the period of validity of its pre-registration, and the community woodland is accredited pursuant to that application:

(a) the eligibility date of the woodland is the later of:

(i) the date on which the Authority received the application for pre-registration; or

(b) the date on which the woodland was CPCS-certified by the Authority. 

(6) In this article—

“community benefit or co-operative society” means:

(a) a society registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies and Credit Unions Act 1965 (“the 1965 Act”) as a community benefit society or as a co-operative society; or

(b) a pre-2010 Act society (as defined in section 4A(1) of the 1965 Act);

“community woodland” means an eligible woodland:

(a) the location of which is within 1 mile of the community to which it relates; and

(b) in relation to which the TPI Creator is a community organisation;

“community interest company” means a company issued a certificate of incorporation under section 36B(1) or 38A(1) of the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004;

“community organisation” means-

(a) a community interest company; or

(b) a community benefit or co-operative society,

other than such a company or society with more than 50 employees; 

CHAPTER 3 – Matters relating to accreditation

Tariff codes

  1. The Authority must assign a tariff code to each accredited TPI woodland taking into account—

(a) the species of trees planted, and the carbon capacity of, the accredited TPI woodland;

(b) the period in which the tariff date for the accredited TPI woodland falls; and

(c) such other information as may be relevant,

so that the tariff code enables identification of the TPI tariff which apply to the eligible woodland.

Unique identifiers for accredited TPI woodlands

  1. The Authority must assign each accredited TPI woodland with an identifier which is unique to that accredited TPI woodland.

Site of accredited TPI woodlands

  1. (1) Where an application has been made to the Authority:

(a) for accreditation of an eligible woodland as mentioned in article 4(a); or

(b) for preliminary accreditation of an eligible woodland,

before granting accreditation or preliminary accreditation the Authority must determine the site of the eligible woodland in accordance with this article.

(2) The Authority must determine the site of a woodland by reference to such of the following criteria as the Authority considers appropriate:

(a) the address of the premises at which the woodland is, or is to be, located;

(b) the Ordnance Survey grid reference at which the woodland is, or is to be, located; and

(c) any other factors which the Authority considers relevant.

Calculating and publishing TPI payment rates

(1) On or before 1st February in each year, the Authority must publish a table setting out, for the following TPI year (“the relevant TPI year”):

(a) The TPI Tariffs which are to apply to all accredited TPI woodlands.

(2) On or before 1st August in 2021 and each subsequent year, the Authority must:

(a) determine whether any changes to the TPI tariffs published under paragraph (1)(b) are to apply to accredited TPI woodlands with a tariff date on or after the following 1st October; and

(b) publish those changes.

(3) On or before the dates specified in the first column of the following table the Authority must publish a table setting out the TPI tariffs which are to apply, for the TPI year in which the period specified in the corresponding entry in the second column of the table (the “TPI tariff period”) falls, to eligible woodlands with a tariff date in that TPI tariff period.

Publication date TPI tariff period
1st March 2021 1st May 2013 to 30th June 2021
1st May (in 2021 and each subsequent year) the following 1st July to 30th Sept
1st August (in 2021 and each subsequent year) the following 1st October to 31st Dec
1st November (in 2021 and each subsequent year) the following 1st January to 31st March
1st February (in 2022 and each subsequent year) the following 1st April to 30th June
April (in 2022 and each subsequent year) the preceding 1st January to 31st March

(4) The Authority must determine the TPI tariffs under paragraphs (2) and (3) by reference to the data published by the Secretary of State under article 36 and Schedule 2.

TPI payment adjustments

(1) In order to calculate the TPI payments to be made to TPI owners or their nominated recipient the Authority shall adjust the applicable TPI tariff by the Relevant Percentages using the formula below:

(TF x TCO2) x RP = TPI payment

where:

(a) TF is the applicable TPI tariff for the accredited TPI woodland as set out in the central TPI register;

(b) TCO2 is the deemed capacity for the accredited TPI woodland; and

(c) RP is the applicable relevant percentage expressed as a decimal.

Withdrawal of accreditation, etc.

(1) The Authority may take any of the actions mentioned in paragraph (2) in relation to an accredited TPI woodland if:

(a) the Authority has reason to believe that any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph (3) apply; and

(b) the Authority considers the action to be appropriate having regard to those circumstances.

(2)  The actions referred to in paragraph (1) are

(a) withdrawing accreditation of the woodland;

(b) suspending accreditation of the woodland;

(c) changing the tariff code assigned to the woodland;

(d) attaching conditions to the accreditation; or

(e) amending conditions attached to the accreditation.

(3)  The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1)(a) are that:

(a) the decision to grant the accreditation (or, if the woodland had preliminary accreditation, the decision to grant the preliminary accreditation) was based on information which was incorrect in a material particular;

(i) any condition attached to the accreditation has not been complied with;

(ii) the woodland has been extended or otherwise modified in such a way that it would not be entitled to accreditation; or

(iii) the Authority has received notice from a relevant public authority that the planting and management of the accredited TPI woodland is in breach of any provision of legislation or of any licence or consent granted for the woodland;

(4)  In paragraph (3)(d), “relevant public authority” means a court or tribunal, or a public authority responsible for enforcing the legislative provision or the licence or authorisation in question.

(5)  If the Authority takes any action under this article in relation to an accredited TPI woodland it must:

(a) amend the central TPI register to record the action; and

(b) give notice to the TPI Creator and, where applicable, the nominated receipient, which must:

(i) include reasons for taking the action; and

(ii) specify the date on which the action taken has effect.

(6)  The Authority may revoke or vary any action taken under this article and, if it does so, paragraph (5) applies to the variation or revocation as it does to the taking of that action

 

Part 4: Accreditation of extensions to woodlands

Accreditation of extensions to accredited TPI woodlands

(1) Paragraph (2) applies where the Authority receives notice that an accredited TPI woodland has been extended.

(2) Where this paragraph applies, the Authority must:

(a) treat the extension as a separate eligible woodland;

(b) decide whether or not to accredit the extension in accordance with Part 3; and

(c) where it decides to accredit the extension, assign the extension a separate tariff code based on the aggregate declared carbon capacity of both the extension and the existing accredited TPI woodland.

  1. In this Part, “notice”, in relation to a woodland, means a notice given to the Authority by a TPI Creator. 

 

Part 5: The central TPI register

The central TPI register

(1) It is the function of the Authority to keep and maintain the central TPI register. 

(2) The central TPI register:

(a) must contain the information described in Schedule 1; and

(b) may contain such additional information which the Authority considers is relevant to the efficient operation of the TPI scheme.

(3) The Authority must, so far as it is possible, ensure that entries in the central TPI register are accurate and up to date.

(4) From information on the central TPI register, the Authority must publish the number of accredited TPI woodlands participating in the TPI scheme.

(5) The Authority must publish the information described in paragraph (4) as often as it sees fit during the TPI year but, in any event, at least once every 3 months.

Error in the central TPI register

  1. Where the Authority discovers that there is an error on the central TPI register, the Authority must—

(a) update the central TPI register to correct the error; and

(b) if the correction affects the entitlement of a person to TPI payments, give notice of the change to the Authority.

Modifications, nominations and terminations

(1) Paragraph (2) applies where the Authority is given notice by a TPI licensee of any of the following matters—

(a) that an accredited TPI woodland has been modified;

(b) that a TPI Creator has—

(i) appointed or changed a nominated recipient; or

(ii) terminated the TPI Creator’s participation in the TPI scheme.

(2) Where this paragraph applies, the Authority must update the central TPI register and give notice to the TPI licensee (and, in the case of a termination, the TPI Creator)—

(a) that the central TPI register has been updated; and

(b) when the update was made.

(3) In this article, “modified” in relation to an accredited TPI woodland excludes an extension to the woodland. 

 

Part 6: Administrative functions of the Authority

Publication of guidance

(1) The Authority may publish procedural guidance to TPI Creators and nominated in connection with the administration of the TPI scheme.

(2) The Authority must publish that information as soon as possible after the start of each TPI year.

Annual reports

  1. On or before 31st December after the end of each TPI year the Authority must provide to the Secretary of State a report in respect of that TPI year setting out the following—

(a) the total TPI payments made;

(b) the total carbon capacity planted;

(c) the total amount of carbon captured; and

(d) the total number of accredited TPI woodlands participating in the TPI scheme.

Additional information

(1) The Authority may require a TPI creator to provide it with any information which it believes the TPI creator holds and which, in the Authority’s opinion, it requires in order to discharge its functions under the TPI scheme.

(2) On request from the Secretary of State, the Authority must provide to the Secretary of State such additional information in relation to the TPI scheme as is requested.

Notices to reduce, withhold or recoup TPI payments

(1) Where the Authority has good reason to believe that a TPI Creator or nominated recipient may have received a TPI payment to which it was not entitled, the Authority may give notice to the TPI licensee which made the payment to—

(a) reduce further TPI payments due to be made to the TPI Creator or nominated recipient until any amount overpaid has been recovered;

(b) withhold further TPI payments due to be made to the TPI Creator or nominated recipient; or

(c) recoup any amount overpaid from the TPI Creator or nominated recipient.

(2) Where the Authority subsequently establishes that the TPI Creator or nominated recipient was entitled to receive the TPI payment, the Authority must give notice to the TPI licensee that—

(a) the amount of any TPI payment which was reduced, withheld or recouped should be paid to the TPI Creator or nominated recipient as soon as possible; and

(b) where TPI payments have been withheld, TPI payments to the TPI Creator or nominated recipient should recommence.

 

Part 7: Functions of the Secretary of State

TPI deployment data

  1. The Secretary of State must determine and publish data in accordance with Schedule 2.

Deemed Carbon Capture

(1) The Secretary of State must determine in respect of each TPI year the amount of c arbon deemed to be captured by accredited TPI woodlands.

(2) The amount under paragraph (1) must be expressed as a percentage of the amount of declared carbon capacity of the accredited TPI woodland.

(3) Different percentages may apply to different categories of accredited TPI woodland.

(4) The determination of a percentage under paragraph (1) must be based on an estimate of the proportion of carbon captured by the category of woodland by reference to:

(a) maturity of the trees planted;

(b) the species of trees planted; and

(c) the density of the woodland.

(5) The Secretary of State must publish a determination under paragraph (1) not less than one month before the beginning of the TPI year to which it relates.

 

Part 8: Miscellaneous 

Notices

  1. A notice under this Order—

(a) must be in writing; and

(b) may be transmitted by electronic means

 

Schedule 1: The central TPI register

(1) The central TPI register must contain sufficient information to identify each accredited TPI woodland.

(2) Information under paragraph (1) must include, in respect of each accredited TPI woodland:

(a) the tariff code assigned under article 9;

(b) the unique identifier assigned under article 10;

(c) the site of the woodland determined under article 11;

(d) the confirmation date;

(e) whether or not the woodland has been extended;

(f) whether or not the woodland has been modified (other than by way of an extension which falls within Part 4);

(g) if applicable, the number of the CPCS certificate;

(h) the species of trees planted;

(i) the total declared carbon capacity;

(j) details of the TPI Creator and, if applicable, details of the TPI Creator’s nominated recipient; and

(k) the amount of the TPI Payments made.

2. The central TPI register must contain sufficient information to identify, in respect of each accredited TPI woodland, the TPI Creator and any nominated recipient to whom TPI payments are made.

 

Schedule 2: Publication of TPI deployment data

1. On or before the sixth working day before the end of each month specified in the first column of the following table, the Secretary of State must, for the period specified in the corresponding entry in the second column of the table (the “TPI deployment period”), determine and publish the data set out in paragraph 2.

Month of publication TPI deployment period
February 2021 1st November 2020 to 31st January 2021
April 2021 1st February 2021 to 31st March 2013
July (in 2021 and each subsequent year) the preceding 1st April to 30th June
October(in 2021 and each subsequent year) the preceding 1st July to 30th September
January (in 2022 and each subsequent year) the preceding 1st October to 31st December
April (in 2022 and each subsequent year) the preceding 1st January to 31st March
  1. The data referred to in paragraph 1 are:

(a) the aggregate declared carbon capacities of TPI woodlands;

(b) the amount of carbon captured by TPI woodlands in the relevant planting period; and 

(c) the proportion of Native Trees planted in TPI woodlands versus non-Native Trees;

  1. In paragraph 2, “relevant planting period” means:

(a) in relation to the data to be published in January, the preceding calendar year; and 

(b) in relation to the data to be published in July, the preceding 1st January to 30th June. 

 

Schedule 3: Native Trees

Any tree listed as Native by the Royal Forestry Commission including the following species:

a)  Alder

b)  Alder buckthorn

c)  Ash

d)  Aspen

e)  Beech

f)  Birch

g)  Blackthorn

h)  Buckthorn

i)  Crab apple

j)  Dogwood

k) Field maple 

l) Goat willow 

m) Grey willow 

n) Guelder rose 

o) Hawthorn

p) Hazel

q) Holly

r) Hornbeam 

s) Juniper

t) Oak

u) Privet

v) Rowan

w) Scots Pine

x) Small-leaved lime 

y) Spindle

z) Sweet chestnut 

aa) Wayfaring tree 

bb) Whitebeam

cc) Wild cherry

dd) Yew