MUC Climate Forest Project

Munich Airport’s Regional Carbon Offset Project

Munich Airport is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030. To achieve this, it will employ technology to reduce at least 60% of its CO2 emissions. The remaining 40% will be offset through sophisticated climate protection projects, preferably regional and relating to aviation.

Munich Airport also dedicated itself to the goal of “net zero carbon” by 2050, i.e. balancing out all CO2 emissions. Any remaining CO2 emissions must then be removed from the atmosphere.

A forest, for example, could help achieve this, which is how the idea was developed to create a “climate forest”. The additional CO2 bound in the wood of the MUC Climate Forest compared to normal commercial forests can be used by Munich Airport to compensate its CO2 emissions.


Aims of the MUC Climate Forest 

  • Creation of a climate forest that is resistant to the effects of climate change and can remove more CO2 from the atmosphere in the long term than conventional commercial forests
  • To preserve regional wealth and associated jobs
  • To promote regional biodiversity
  • To create an attractive recreation area in the region
  • By using the wood from the climate forest as construction and furniture wood, the CO2 is conserved in the wood is bound for as long as possible.
  • By using wood to replace e.g concrete, even more CO2 can be avoided.
  • Providing an undisturbed habitat for many plants and animals, the MUC climate forest plays a key role in biodiversity.
  • The species planted in the MUC climate forest will be as climate resilient as possible, helping the forest resist the impact of climate change over time.
  • By the middle of the century, about 7,000 tons of CO2 could be offset annually in the MUC climate forest.
  • Wood from the MUC climate forest is a regionally sourced construction material, helping avoid CO2 emissions elsewhere.
  • The MUC climate forest is also an attractive recreation area in the region.

The MUC Climate Forest that we operate jointly with Munich Airport is unique in Germany. Our goal is to generate additional CO2 compensation through intelligent forest conversion.


But the benefits of our forests go beyond this: The forest serves as a place for recreation and leisure activities and is of paramount importance for biodiversity and even noise protection.

Max-Georg Graf von Arco auf Valley

Patron of the "MUC Climate Forest" project

Responsibility for the climate and the environment

The most common tree in modern commercial forests is the spruce. At the moment, however, it is suffering from the effects of climate change. As a tree attuned to higher altitudes , it does not tolerate higher temperatures or long dry phases and is vulnerable to pests. Not only do ailing forests mean less income for foresters, the disappearance of recreation areas and less biodiversity, they also store less CO2.

The solution is to include more species resilient to climate change in the tree population that can live healthily for an average of at least 75 years. Over time, the forest becomes resilient to climate change.In combination with an improved forest management this leads to a higher storage capacity for CO2 in the long run.

Impressions of the MUC Climate Forest 

  Munich Airport’s Regional Carbon Offset Project

Project locations

The areas for the MUC Climate Forest planned by Munich Airport is provided by the Count von Arco’sche Forest Administration. The five project locations in the Tertiary Hill Country and the floodlands of Lower Bavaria are in the districts of Regensburg, Rottal-Inn, Deggendorf, Dingolfing-Landau and Landshut.

The entire project area will eventually cover around 1,900 hectares of land. 

Locations overview

The five MUC Climate Forest project locations: St. Johann, Oberköllnbach, Steinberg, Adldorf and Baumgarten

Duration of the project

The projects starts in 2021.

The development stage for the MUC Climate Forest will last around 30 years. This will be followed by a maintenance phase, a use phase and a regeneration phase.

In line with internationally recognized forest conservation projects, the project is planned to last for 90 years so that a maximal amount of CO2 can be incorporated by the trees.

Monitoring and transparency

Timber growth will be constantly monitored and calculated based on forest inventories carried out every 10 years.

You will find ongoing reporting, descriptions, evaluations, results and reports here soon.

CO2 offsetting

In Germany forests are part of the national CO2 inventory, so it is not feasible to use them for private carbon offsetting. To circumvent this situation, Munich Airport additionally purchases an international CO2 certificate for each ton of CO2 stored regionally in the climate forest. In this way, it is possible for the additional CO2 captured in the MUC Climate Forest to be included in Munich Airport's Footprint. The certificates are managed by project partner ClimatePartner.

While the MUC Climate Forest can’t offset very much CO2 at the start of the project, this capacity will increase to about 7,000 tons of CO2 annually by the middle of the century. 

Biodiversity

Forests do not only create jobs, they also provide local recreation and play a key role in biodiversity as an undisturbed habitat for many plants and animals. A forest with trees in all growth stages and where species are as climate resilient as possible enjoys far greater biodiversity than a normal commercial forest. This can also improve biological diversity in the local area.

Undisturbed habitats and the diversity of species make the MUC Climate Forest a safe haven for endangered species. It provides ideal conditions for a huge increase in the number of insects, bird species, mammal populations and plant species.

Do you have questions about the MUC Climate Forest?

Hans-Peter Melzl

Flughafen München GmbH

Project partner

Arco’sche Forstverwaltung

ClimatePartner

Scientific oversight

Prof. Dr. Thomas Seifert

Professur für Waldwachstum und Dendroökologie

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg