By Marcelo Teixeira (Reuters)

The Walt Disney Company and Latin America’s largest air carrier, Latam Airlines, bought 444,000 carbon offsets from Peru-based projects in separate deals last week, giving a boost to South America’s burgeoning voluntary carbon market.

Both companies will use the credits to offset a portion of their greenhouse gases.

Entertainment company Disney bought 437,000 VCUs (Verified Carbon Units) issued by the Alto Mayo Initiative, a project funded by the Peruvian government and NGO Conservation International (CI) to protect 2.8 million hectares of rainforest in Peru’s  northern San Martin province.

In a separate deal, Latam Airlines Group, the new airline formed out of the merger of Brazil’s TAM and Chile’s Lan Airlines, announced it bought 7,000 VCUs from a reforestation project run by project developer Bosques Amazonicos in Peru’s eastern province of Ucayali.

Alto Mayo is the first REDD project in the country with direct participation of the Peruvian government. Two more are in the works.

The project, validated under Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), will generate some two million credits. Disney will retire the credits it buys.

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