This Week In V-Carbon: A Test Of Stamina
Between now and the "next big crescendo" in climate talks, a growing patchwork of government programs and market players trucks onward. Consolidation continues, with ERA acquiring Offsetters and CCC before issuing REDD+ credits big time from its DRC project. Jurisdictional REDD+ starts to find its feet, as Forest Carbon explores forest carbon opportunities at the provincial level in Laos.
This article was originally published in the V-Carbon newsletter. Click here to read the original.
Into the holiday season...
21 December 2012
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Negotiations moved slowly at the international level as the UNFCCC COP18 conference in Doha came to a close. Among the key decisions made, countries agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol out to a second commitment period running 2013-2020, under which the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation mechanisms will continue to operate – albeit with revisions in store for both. In the background, the CDM registered its 5,000th project.
On the "hot air" issue, unused AAUs will be eligible for carry-over into the second commitment period, to be stored in a surplus reserve account with limits on their transfer.
Negotiators put together an outline describing a new market mechanism that could complement the Kyoto Protocol's existing mechanisms and have the capability of being rolled out to sectors – possibly REDD+ inclusive – whose credits could be used to satisfy pre-2020 Kyoto compliance obligations. The new market mechanism will be further fleshed out going into next year's COP in Warsaw, Poland. Meanwhile, issues regarding REDD finance and the rigor of verification for credits were tabled for further discussion in 2013.
For market players, the annual cliffhangers of the UNFCCC process are taking their toll through continued price and policy uncertainty.
"Doha was challenging. Because of the way countries are feeling about the global economy, they weren’t really prepared to take bold steps," said Dirk Forrister, CEO of IETA, on a post-Doha follow-up call. "The die was cast on that in Durban when they set up a negotiating plan to get the real answers in 2015, the big decision year."
Leading up to 2015, Forrister noted 2014 as "the next big crescendo in climate negotiations." UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon alluded to plans to convene a meeting of leaders in 2014 to elevate the climate agenda, and there was a reference in the final conference text whereby countries can improve their level of ambition in the Kyoto context by amending their commitments by April 2014.
Outside the UNFCCC process, nationally run or bilateral offset programmes are pushing onward while other market players consolidate, doing what they can to scale up mitigation efforts absent an international framework. These past two weeks, ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd took the voluntary carbon markets by storm – first with its finalized acquisition of Offsetters and Carbon Credit Corporation, and now with the certification and issuance of 2.5 MtCO2e in VERs from the Mai Ndombe REDD+ project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the jurisdictional level, Forest Carbon is mapping and accounting for forest carbon across Khammouane Province in Laos, working to identify potential investment opportunities through the voluntary carbon market for project-level private sector and NGO REDD+ interventions.
These and other stories from the voluntary carbon marketplace are summarized below, so keep reading! Note that we are still fundraising for the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 report, slated for publication at Carbon Expo 2013 – if we are able to raise sufficient contributions to continue this research. Many thanks to The CarbonNeutral Company, American Carbon Registry and Forest Carbon Group for already coming aboard! This report – which is freely available thanks exclusively to sponsors’ support –remains a key benchmark for the market. To learn more about sponsoring next year’s report, click here for our prospectus and contact Molly Peters-Stanley for details.
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