Gresham House is investing in New Zealand forestry as part of a carbon credits strategy for UK-based institutional investors.

The Gresham House Forest Carbon limited partnership has acquired a 25% stake in a portfolio focused on carbon sequestration and native forest regeneration.

The eight forests covering more than 12,000 hectares will not be used for commercial timber but will remain as permanent forests, contributing to CO2 reduction and maintaining biodiversity.

Gresham House said the investment would help protect and enhance indigenous vegetation, and it would use its expertise in the sector to help the forests regenerate to native indigenous species over the long term.

Gresham House manages 141,500 hectares of forestry in the UK and Ireland and more than 166,000 hectares globally, valued at around £3bn (€3.57bn).

The forestry assets in New Zealand are expected to generate nine million verified carbon credits over the next 25 years.

Gresham House said the acquisition would support the New Zealand government meet its commitments to the Paris Climate Change Agreement to become net carbon neutral by 2050.

David Gardner, CIO for forestry at Gresham House, said: “We are excited to complete this investment into a diversified pool of forest carbon assets, which sequester and store carbon on a permanent basis. This continues to show our international capabilities.

“To be able to meet the Paris Agreement commitments and net-zero ambitions, emission reduction targets are likely to become more stringent over time. This will create increasing demand for both mandatory and voluntary carbon credit schemes.

“The Gresham House carbon-forestry strategy aims to capitalise on the growth of this market to provide attractive investment returns as well as making a positive contribution to tackling climate change.”