The Carbon Institute

  • About
    The Carbon Institute’s mission is to train and empower a new global workforce to better measure and manage carbon, Earth’s most vital element. We power international academic and government partnerships to create self-sustaining, solution-oriented professional training programs in carbon accounting. These training programs use evidence-based teaching and learning best practices, shared curriculums, faculty mentoring, and open source active learning modules that result in advanced carbon accounting certifications.   To achieve a world where Earth’s carbon is sustainably managed, the Carbon Institute works to improve the quality of, and access to, higher education and advanced training in the measurement and monitoring of planetary carbon. The Carbon Institute is initially focused on improved resolution of the terrestrial carbon cycle, the component of the global carbon cycle with the highest levels of uncertainty. Our academic partnerships will also inform ongoing efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation in developing countries. The Carbon Institute is supported by the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute and the Tropical Forest Group, two United States 501 c (3) non-profit organizations. The Carbon Institute is managed as a collection of on-going initiatives in education, research, science and innovation carried out by our staff, partners and affiliates.
  • History
    The Tropical Forest Group initially began discussing the need for The Carbon Institute in 2012, as it was preparing the groundwork for the first university accredited Certificate in Terrestrial Carbon Accounting. This 2013 Certificate was accredited by the University of California and covered six courses, taught by global leaders, in an intensive hands-on, four-week long advanced certificate. For a limited number of 24 course openings, more than 150 applicants applied. Building on this success, in 2014 The Carbon Institute evolved into a concrete idea from a set of conversations that realized the growing international scientific consensus on climate change was not translating into action. To address this, The Carbon Institute was formed and designed to foster international cooperation and interdisciplinary work that identifies and solves critical roadblocks to climate change solutions.  For instance, efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries is a novel framework (known as REDD+) that can reward countries that measure and reduce carbon emissions from the land use over large sub-national areas. But REDD+ is predicated on robust carbon accounting in the land use sector, and there are relatively few international academic programs that teach terrestrial carbon accounting in developing countries. So one of the initial Carbon Institute collaborations is to build an international partnership that can help nurture new sustainable in-country terrestrial carbon accounting academic programs.
  • Philosophy
    We recognize the urgent need for enhanced international cooperation on climate change, and bolder government policies and more aggressive action by companies and individuals. Solutions are needed that can rapidly and sustainably reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon sequestration, while enhancing resilience to climate change and supporting low-carbon economic development worldwide. We believe in being nimble, working with a sense of urgency, and supporting initiatives and projects to create synergies. We believe that countries must own and manage their own carbon science to make informed decisions about climate change. We believe that partnerships of equals, across countries and across disciplines, are the straightest line to making a measurable difference in global climate change.

This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.

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