There’s currently a debate underway in the UK around where plantation forestry i.e. fast-growing timber producing forestry, fits into the voluntary carbon market system, the Woodland Carbon Code (WCC).
A ‘blessing’ of the UK’s cool and wet oceanic climate is that it allows for the formation of peatland, fondly referred to as ‘bogs’. Peatlands are not unique to the UK but are found across the globe and on all continents.
The Norfolk and Suffolk region is fast becoming established as a premier distribution location as the Port of Felixstowe builds its influence in post Brexit trade. The market saw a steady flow of lettings during 2020, pushing take up to an historic high, with over half a million sq ft of space acquired across the year. With little development over recent years, or indeed under construction, supply stands severely depleted.
Distribution demand, further bolstered by the acceleration in online retailing as a result of the pandemic, formed much of the activity. However, the Oxfordshire market has also seen strong take up from the S&T sector with the biopharma, electric automotive engineering and space sectors all active during the latter months of 2020.
Current requirements stand more than four times ahead of availability, with the science and tech sector’s growing influence on the market adding to the pressure. This is reflected in the demand for R&D space, with units of less than 20,000 sq ft representing more than half of total requirements by floorspace.
At the end of year, requirements in Milton Keynes stood 130% ahead of the same point 12 months earlier. This was driven primarily by the distribution sector, but also high tech engineering businesses seeking a range of floorplates. Units of over 50,000 sq ft represented 85% of floorspace requirements.
The trajectory of the carbon offset market looks set, with the launch sequence initiated. The global voluntary carbon market doubled between 2017 and 2019 and with the likes of visionary Microsoft founder Bill Gates and ex-Bank of England Governor Mark Carney collaborating on a taskforce aiming to scale this market, some estimates put the value of the voluntary carbon market growing from around $300 million today to $25 billion by 2030.
The Government has confirmed that the simplified process for obtaining temporary permission to place tables and chairs on the highway outside food and drink venues will be extended until September 2022. This extension will support the return of hospitality venues over the coming months.
As we struggle towards what we hope will be the final stages for the UK of this terrible global pandemic, a growing commitment towards climate change reversal and managing natural capital and biodiversity is ramping up in a way which has made the last five years look like a warm up.