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SPOTLIGHT

1. WETLANDS

New tool could flood Louisiana wetlands with private financing

A new program in Louisiana could bring in billions of dollars of private financing to restore disappearing wetlands along the Gulf Coast.

The program would create the first-ever carbon offset market for broad-scale restoration of American wetlands.

A consulting firm and nonprofit organization developed the groundbreaking methodology, financed with the help of a Gulf Coast electric company that is interested in investing in the offsets.

Voluntary carbon markets oversee investment in hundreds of conservation projects around the world, but the projects have thus far focused largely on reforestation or agricultural practices. The new tool would allow investors for the first time to pay for wetlands restoration along the Gulf Coast as a carbon credit.

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