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This Week In V-Carbon: What Would Your Jurisdiction Do?

As CER prices continue their slump, voluntary and emerging markets debut alternatives to the CDM space. California issues the first allowances for its new compliance market, while Colombia hosts an inception workshop for its voluntary platform. New methodologies are out on wetlands and jurisdictional nested REDD (VCS) and truck stop electrification (ACR). Home weatherization generates renewed interest.

As CER prices continue their slump, voluntary and emerging markets debut alternatives to the CDM space. California issues the first allowances for its new compliance market, while Colombia hosts an inception workshop for its voluntary platform. New methodologies are out on wetlands and jurisdictional nested REDD (VCS) and truck stop electrification (ACR). Home weatherization generates renewed interest.

This article was originally published in the V-Carbon newsletter. Click here to read the original.

11 October 2012 Before jumping into the news, Ecosystem Marketplace is seeking your feedback for the upcoming State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2012 report (due in just a couple of weeks, so stay tuned!). This year, the report will list a small selection of interesting, diverse forest carbon offset buyers in the private sector – to give readers a sense of what kind of companies seek forestry offsets.

Do you want to give some additional exposure to your buyer(s)? Know of a company we should mention, even if they’re not your clients? Send the company name to Daphne Yin by COB Monday, October 15 for them to be considered (through an impartial, independent selection process) for listing in this year’s report.

 

The State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2012 will be public and freely available, thanks to support from the report’s Sponsors –  Code REDD,  Face the Future, the UK Forestry Commission’s  Woodland Carbon Code,  Baker & McKenzie, and  Kinship Conservation Fellows  – and Supporters –  Astrium Services  and  Conservation International.

 

As many offset suppliers reevaluate their investments in CDM projects against the  projected plunge in CER prices  through 2020, some are looking to the voluntary markets to hedge their bets.  From Colombia to California, the voluntary carbon markets nurtured emerging markets and project types these past few weeks across the Americas – pushing forth methodologies left and right in forests and wetlands, as well as at truck stops and in weatherized homes.

 

Sitting down at Carbon Forum North America last week (program and presentation slides here), panelists at a REDD+ breakout session explored the role of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)’s Jurisdictional Nested REDD Initiative (JNRI) in providing a framework for reconciling project-level and jurisdictional activities, seeking adoption under emerging compliance markets. They acknowledged the role of other market players like Code REDD to engage policymakers in supporting JNR while building corporate demand for REDD projects. VCS formally released the JNR methodology last Thursday, available  here.

 

JNR also crept into emerging market  discussions  in  Bogotí¡, where Ecosystem Marketplace attended the inception workshop for Colombia’s fledgling trading platform for voluntary carbon market transactions last week. We provide coverage on the new platform here with an interview with  Carlos Leon Gí³mez from  Fundacií³n Natura, the organization spearheading efforts around the platform (formally known as the Mechanism For Voluntary Mitigation Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions).

 

Other new methodologies made their debut, with VCS releasing  the first requirements for crediting wetlands restoration and conservation  (WRC), and the American Carbon Registry (ACR) approving  a groundbreaking offset methodology to quantify emission reductions achieved through  truck stop electrification  (TSE).

 

Elsewhere in the US, 17 states have signed on to the Carbon Trading Initiative launched by the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP), with proponents looking to tap into home weatherization carbon credits approved by VCS (not without controversy) as a potential means to finance energy retrofits – and entertaining the project type as a potential addition to the roster of offset protocols being considered to bandage offset undersupply in California’s forthcoming cap-and-trade scheme.

 

These and other stories from the voluntary carbon marketplace are summarized below, so keep reading! And if you value what you read in this news brief, consider supporting Ecosystem Marketplace’s Carbon Program as a Supporting Subscriber.

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V-Carbon News

Voluntary Carbon

JNR leaves the VCS nest…

Last week, VCS publicly released the heavily anticipated first framework for jurisdiction-wide REDD activities. The JNR requirements provide a comprehensive framework for accounting and crediting emissions reductions and removals from state, provincial, and national REDD+ policies and programs as well as individual REDD+ projects.  The same day, VCS released the first requirements for crediting restoration and conservation activities across wetland ecosystems under the new VCS Wetlands Restoration and Conservation (WRC) project category, as well as updates to several Version 3 program documents. A webinar describing program updates will be held on October 25 at 11am EST.

   – Read about JNR requirements
   – Read about WRC requirements
   – Read about Version 3 requirements

 

…and figures into Colombia’s VCM talks
VCS and Fundacion Natura recently signed an MOU agreeing to jointly establish the necessary framework for a Colombian voluntary carbon market, which will recognize VCUs as one of the major credits to transact. VCS agrees to provide seminars for key market actors, including project developers, auditors, potential buyers and government officials, in order for them to understand VCS program elements and crediting mechanisms, such as their jurisdictional and nested REDD+ methodology. Both organizations will also be involved in promoting the development of this new emerging market and the advantages of carbon neutrality to Colombian companies. Ecosystem Marketplace provides coverage of the Colombia program’s inception workshop, with an exclusive interview with Fundacií³n Natura’s Carlos Leon Gí³mez.

   – Read Ecosystem Marketplace article
   – Read VCS announcement

 

IdleAir in it for the long haul
ACR announced last week the approval of a carbon offset methodology to quantify emission reductions through truck stop electrification (TSE). Developed jointly by ACR and IdleAir, the methodology provides the opportunity to tap into carbon finance to accelerate emissions reductions from long-haul trucking, a critical segment of US freight transportation. TSE allows truck drivers to turn off their engines while maintaining a comfortable cabin temperature and using electronics, reducing GHG emissions from engine idling and allowing truck drivers to sleep better. IdleAir currently operates over 900 parking spaces in 12 states. Based on a 2011 analysis by ICF International, expanding TSE infrastructure presents an opportunity for carbon emissions abatement that could amount to nearly 4.1 MtCO2e of annual reductions in the US.

   – Read ACR press release
   – Read the methodology

 

ERA goes for seconds

ERA Carbon Offsets – which recently entered into letters of intent to acquire Vancouver-based project developers Offsetters and Carbon Credit Corporation  –  this week  announced a second private placement of 1,500,000 units at $0.13 each for a total of $195,000 in additional financing. The proceeds will go toward general working capital purposes. Forest Carbon Group AG, ERA’s largest shareholder, has decided to maintain its roughly 30% interest in the company by participating in the financing and ERA’s earlier private placement announced in September, which had put forth 2,000,000 units priced at $0.11 per unit (proceeds totaling at about $220,000). The earlier placement has since been updated (terms outlined in the announcement), with the proceeds helping to pay for ERA’s acquisition.

   – Read on additional financing
   – Read on original acquisition/financing

 

SLOW LIFE speeds up for Darfur

Through an innovative social investment provided by The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust, Impact Carbon announced last week that it will support fuel efficient cookstoves disseminated by Potential Energy and water treatment solutions implemented by local partners to over 140,000 families living in Darfur, Sudan over a seven-year period. The $3.5-million multi-technology project, led by US non-profits Impact Carbon and Potential Energy, will be developed under new Gold Standard rules that make it easier for people in insecure environments like displacement camps to benefit from access to carbon finance. The Swiss non-profit organization, myclimate, is supporting the project and will buy and market the project’s Gold Standard credits to its clients.

   – Read press release

 

Hilton makes accommodations in SE Asia
Hilton Worldwide recently announced plans to offset the carbon footprint created by all events in eleven of its properties in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand starting October 1. The program will use the LightStay Meeting Impact Calculator to measure emissions, accounting for event room water and electricity usage, food consumption and the number of guest rooms occupied. With the assistance of Climate Friendly, Hilton will purchase offsets from the Borneo IFM Rainforest Rehabilitation Project developed by Face the Future and the Cambodia Cookstove Project developed by Cambodia-based NGO GERES. Both projects are VCS validated. Overall, Hilton Worldwide aims to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by 20% by 2013.

   – Read press release

 

Printer’s rainforest row
UK-based Healeys Print Group recently went carbon neutral by purchasing 20,000 m2 of tropical rainforest through the World Land Trust to offset the 258 tCO2e from its yearly manufacturing processes, making it one of a dozen UK-based carbon-balanced publication printers. Managing director Phillip Dodd announced  Healeys’ plans to show its clients how much carbon  it would help save by opting to do business with  the company  and provide them with documentation showing the area purchased and weight of the carbon offset. The organization also intends to give clients permission to use the Carbon-Balanced Publication logo on their products.

   – Read more

 

Small biz steps lightly with Best Foot Forward
The UK-based CarbonNeutral Company is partnering with UK-based sustainability consulting firm Best Foot Forward to provide small businesses an easier way to achieve CarbonNeutral certification. The CarbonNeutral Footprint Reporter provides one-stop shop for carbon footprinting, certification, carbon offset purchases, and PR materials. Following the original certification requirements, small businesses will receive the CarbonNeutral certification that demonstrates they have achieved carbon neutrality for their company, products, operations or services.

   – Read press release

 

Climate North America

California priming

On Tuesday, California issued its first cap-and-trade carbon allowances as it gets ready for trading. In the background, California’s Air Resources Board chairperson Mary Nichols announced that Governor Jerry Brown will be signing off on rules allowing  California to link its ETS with Quebec’s sometime this year, with the linkage to go into effect in 2013. The linkage would reportedly boost the market size by 20%, giving Cali emitters more chances to decrease emissions at a lower price. Future potential linkage partners include RGGI, Chinese provinces planning to implement ETSs, and the Mexican state of Chiapas. While the ARB is not actively considering a linkage with Australia, they will be sharing experiences on climate policy and carbon markets.

   – Read about first issuance
   – Read about Cali-Quebec talks
   – Read about Cali-AU talks

 

NASCSP weathers it out

Participants at a recent National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) conference discussed how weatherization programs, which were previously funded via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, can be kept above water. Under NASCSP’s Carbon Trading Initiative, still under development, the 17 states that have signed on so far plan to tap into home weatherization based carbon credits in compliance with the VCS. Given the American Carbon Registry’s forecast of offset supply shortage in California’s cap-and-trade scheme, energy efficiency retrofitting could potentially serve as an addition to the list of acceptable offset project types under the ARB. Emerging technologies like carbon metering that quantify real-time energy savings could add rigor to the emissions monitoring needed to underpin the generation of carbon credits.

   – Read more

 

One of these things is not like the others
Climate Action Reserve President Gary Gero highlights how urban forestry projects under the California Air Resources Board (ARB) Urban Forest Protocol, one of the less visited methodologies adapted from the Climate Action Reserve, can lead to significant environmental benefits. In order for projects to be in line with IPCC guidelines and considered a permanent offset for GHG emissions, trees need to remain planted for 100 years. However, considering the multiple risks that trees can come across in 100 years, CAR provides guidance on lessening risks from land use change, human disturbance and natural disturbance. According to the US Forest Service, the total value provided by trees can be 2-6 times greater than what it takes to plant and maintain them.

   – Read more

 

Duncan gets city-smart
In efforts to reach carbon neutrality for 2012, the City of Duncan, British Columbia is supporting the recently established Community Carbon Marketplace, a credit exchange overseen by Valley-based nonprofit Cowichan Energy Alternatives that lets municipalities invest in carbon credits from their own communities. Duncan is the first municipality to take part in the initiative and will need to invest $7,000 in carbon credits in order to achieve neutrality for 2012. Half of the credits will be purchased from the Cowichan Bio-Diesel Co-op; the origin of the remaining credits will be decided in December. Projects that are not chosen will then be made available to other credit buyers through a public listing.

   – Read more

 

Global Policy Update

Ethiopia’s new tCER-ies
Last week, the Humbo Assisted Natural Regeneration project, managed by World Vision Ethiopia in conjunction with the Government of Ethiopia and World Vision Australia, was awarded Africa’s first temporary CERs (tCERs) through the CDM  – totaling 73,000. The project is the first of its kind in Ethiopia using farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) techniques to generate carbon credits, targeting both mitigation and adaptation goals. The World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund purchased the credits, the proceeds from which are being reinvested in productive, community-driven activities like beekeeping, livestock husbandry, and the construction of a flour mill and grain storage facility.

   – Read World Bank press release

 

New kids on the block
With Thailand and Vietnam considering policy to introduce official carbon trading schemes and similar work advancing in China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific region may take the EU’s title as the world’s leading carbon trading center by 2020. Reports in the Bangkok Post announced that the Thai government will officially consider carbon trading legislation currently being drafted by the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization. In Vietnam, a government official allegedly stated the country is planning to establish a carbon intensity reduction goal of 8-10% for 2020, likely assisted by a carbon trading scheme with a potential launch as early as 2018.

   – Read more

 

Green Power Play: Renewable Energy

Ohio and Oregon utilities tackle RPS obligations
Electric utilities FirstEnergy Ohio and Portland General Electric (PGE) recently issued Requests for Proposal (RFPs) to purchase Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to help meet their state mandates. FirstEnergy Ohio is seeking 7,500 SRECs generated in Ohio/contiguous states, 140,000 RECs generated in Ohio, and 175,000 RECs generated in Ohio/contiguous states (generated between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012). FirstEnergy encourages bidders to submit applications by October 22, with proposals due October 29 by 3 pm. PGE looks to source 100 average mW of electricity from renewable sources – enough to serve some 83,000 customers. PGE is evaluating bids, and expects to have a shortlist by the end of November. While seven US states currently have SREC markets, other states are in the process of creating SREC legislation as the market is expected to expand.

   – Read FirstEnergy RFP
   – Read on Portland RFP
   – Read on REC markets across US states

 

Featured Jobs

Program Manager, Latin America Program – Ecosystem Marketplace

Based in Washington, DC, the Program Manager will support and expand Ecosystem Marketplace’s presence in Latin America and manage, build, and promote Ecosystem Marketplace’s upcoming website for Spanish speakers. Candidates should have a graduate degree and experience in payment for ecosystem services and environmental markets.

   – Read more about the position here

 

Two Positions – First Environment

 

Based in New Jersey, the  Environmental Project Manager  will work in its verification practice. Candidates should have a relevant advanced degree, 5-8 years’ project management experience in GHG emissions inventory development, GHG management and reduction strategies, verifications (CAR, VCS, etc.), GHG methodology or protocol development, and energy management and/or energy auditing. Based in Vancouver, the  GHG Management Associate  will expand First Environment’s Canadian operations. Candidates should be Canadian citizens, have a Bachelor’s in environmental engineering at minimum, Canadian PE License, and 10+ years’ experience post obtaining PE License.

 

 

 

Two Positions – Envirofit International

Preferably based in Nairobi, Kenya, the  Director of Sales  will oversee and manage East Africa regional distribution partners and strategies, work with government officials to ensure programmatic progress and success, among other tasks. Candidates should have a Bachelor’s at minimum in engineering or business, with 10 years’ experience with strong sales team management in East Africa. The Carbon Programs Manager  will develop and manage Envirofit Carbon Programs and carbon assets encompassing strategy, development and implementation through credit issuance and monetization. Candidates should have a Bachelor’s at minimum in business or engineering, with 5+ years’ experience in carbon development with project management record.

 

 

Various Positions – Offsetters

Offsetters is looking to fill three positions in its Vancouver office. The  Associate Consultant  in Advisory Services will support assessment of GHG footprints. Candidates should have a university degree or technical diploma in environmental sciences or related, with 2+ years’ of analytical work experience. The  VP of Sales and Marketing  will lead a team that maintains existing clients, while building a sales strategy to expand Offsetters’ client base in the North American market. Candidates should have an MBA or business/marketing degree, and 15+ years’ related experience with 10+ in an executive-level position in sales and marketing. The  Director of Sales  will undertake sales research, identify and contact target customers, and deliver customer presentations. Candidates should have 8+ years’ relevant sales experience.

 

 

Project Officer – Carbon Disclosure Project
Based in New York, the Project Officer will respond to incoming inquiries by email and phone from companies related to questionnaires and online systems and assist with other forms of support for disclosing companies. Candidates should have a Master’s degree in a relevant subject or an undergraduate degree and 2 years’ work experience.

   – Read more about the position here

 

Research Assistant – Resources for the Future

Based in Washington, DC, the assistant will help in constructing a GIS comprising data on land cover change, using these data to evaluate the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of forest conservation and REDD+ policies and developing computational tools to target such policies. Candidates should have a master’s or bachelor’s degree in economics, natural sciences, mathematics, geography or a related field and experience with ArcGIS and Python.

   – Read more about the position here

 

Policy Advisor, Climate Change – Milieu
Based in Brussels, the advisor will conduct research to support analytical studies on climate change and other European policy topics, draft sections of project reports, support project management and business development. Candidates should have a Master’s in environmental protection/policy, economics, social sciences or related field, and 3+ years’ work experience.

   – Read more about the position here

 

Forest Carbon Specialist, Cambodia – Fauna & Flora International

Based in Phnom Penh, the specialist will provide technical specialist inputs to a suite of community carbon pool and REDD+ feasibility study projects in Cambodia and the wider region. Candidates should have an MSc or equivalent in a relevant field, with 4+ years’ experience in the field of climate change or related sector.

   – Read more about the position here

 

Post-Doc Associate (Ecosystem Services Scientist) – The Nature Conservancy

Based in Fort Collins, Colorado or Minneapolis, Minnesota, the associate will lead the economic valuation components of TNC’s Brazil pilot research on valuing and incorporating biodiversity and ecosystem services into global business goals and decision-making, in collaboration with Dow Chemical Company. The candidate will be an employee for one year, with potential to extend to two years. Candidates should have a PhD in environmental or natural resource economics, ecology, or related field, with knowledge of stat analysis programs (e.g. R, SAS, MATLAB).

   – Read more about the position here

 

Communications Internship – Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Based in Maryland, the intern will draft and edit a wide variety of promotional content, track media coverage, produce content for social media sites and help with the logistics of various events and meetings. This is a part-time, 10-20 hours/week position with flexible hours that can accommodate a student’s schedule, with a basic stipend depending on experience, hours, and internship duration.

   – Read more about the position here

 

Sales Coordinator – carboNZero

 

Based in Auckland, the coordinator will be responsible for direct sales, maintaining client records, some account management and assistance in forecasting as part of the CEMARS and carboNZero programmes.  This role could be full-time at entry level or part-time for an experienced sales professional.

 

 

 

 

   – Read more about the position here

 

 

 

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