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This Week In V-Carbon: Expert Crew ROWS Into The Golden State

The REDD Offsets Working Group fields feedback from its first workshop and public comment, keeping in mind that REDD credit supply might outstrip California demand and that outstanding emissions reductions need their own form of finance if not routes to market. Also open for public comment is the Gold Standard’s efficient cookstoves methodology, based on the suppressed demand approach.


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



25 February 2013
| Before we dive into recent voluntary carbon headlines around the world, a gentle reminder that the deadline to respond to the 2013 State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets and State of the Forest Carbon Markets reports survey has been extended to this Friday, March 1, 2013. This will be the final deadline for organizations wishing to take part in this momentous survey effort.


Carbon offset suppliers that respond to our survey can opt to be listed on a banner on the Ecosystem Marketplace homepage and in the reports' directories of carbon offset retailers, project developers, wholesalers, brokers and other suppliers – read by tens of thousands, year-round. Create a profile and submit your responses HERE!

AND, if you’re a clean cookstove project developer, we have a special survey for you – tell us about your project and (if you so choose) we’ll list your organization as a cookstove offset project developer in this year’s State of report.

 

On to the news, the REDD Offsets Working Group (ROW) has been hard at work fielding feedback from its first workshop and public comments for the draft recommendations it recently released on including REDD+ credits into California's cap-and-trade scheme. An Ecosystem Marketplace article unpacks the domestic and international importance that state endorsement carries, with insights from the ROW's technical experts.

 

One of the main goals of the ROW's recommendations is "for the California model to be adopted by other cap and trade programs or pay-for-performance strategies, hopefully helping partner jurisdictions become compatible with other systems," according to ROW member Dan Nepstad, the Amazon Environmental Research Institute's International Program Director.

 

California could set a strong precedent for other GHG compliance programs if it decides to allow REDD+ credits into its program. Until or unless other systems provide demand signals, however, the supply of REDD+ credits from partner jurisdictions significantly outweighs prospective demand from California.

 

With this in mind, the ROW's recommendations encourage partner jurisdictions to issue credits themselves or register reductions with "third-party programs where a single ‘currency’ could potentially serve a variety of voluntary and regulatory markets," as the State of Acre has done already. Where jurisdictions remain unable to tap into carbon finance, they need to continue securing financing for own efforts from national, multilateral and bilateral sources.

 

Keep reading below for these and more voluntary carbon market news items, hot off the presses. And a special thanks to those organizations that have already contributed complete responses to our 2013 State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets survey: Australia Carbon TradersBioCarbon Partners, Brokers Carbon, Camco Clean Energy, Carbon Clear, Carbonfund.org Foundation, Carboneutral, The CarbonNeutral Company, CF Partners, Clean Air Action CorpCool Planet Energy Pty Ltd, EcoAct, Ecoinvest SA, Eneco, Environmental Capital LLC, Environmental Credit Corp, Directorate of Environment, Energy and Mountain Policie (Carbomark), FairClimateFund BVFair Recycling Foundation, lavola 1981, SA, Lee International, Logicor (Group) Ltd, Love the World, Mavi Consultants, myclimate, South Pole Carbon Asset Management, TerraPass, The Trend is Blue, and Unisfera/Planetair.

 

We'd also like to give a big thanks to those organizations that have already signed up to sponsor the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 report – most recently, this includes Love the World and EcoPlanet Bamboo. Your generosity brings us 12 donors away (at the $3K level) from publishing our flagship report again in 2013! To financially support our report, please contact Molly Peters-Stanley, Carbon Program Manager, at mpeters-stanley@ecosystemmarketplace.com.

 

 

—The Editors

For comments or questions, please email: vcarbonnews@ecosystemmarketplace.com


V-Carbon News

Voluntary Carbon

Calling all clean cookstove project developers!

This year, Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace is teaming up with the UN Foundation's Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to track the contributions of carbon finance to cookstove project development and distribution – to be explored in a breakout section in our State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report. For those of you who develop clean cookstove projects for the voluntary and/or compliance carbon markets, we invite you to respond to our cookstoves survey. While names of eligible organizations will be (optionally) listed, all other information remains confidential. Organizations that share 2012 volume data can choose to be listed with other offset suppliers in the back of the final report (with weblink) as well as Ecosystem Marketplace's online directory/catalog.

  – Respond to the survey

 
Suppressed demand in the kitchen

The Gold Standard recently made its "simplified methodology for efficient cookstoves" available for public comment. The methodology is based on the suppressed demand approach, intended for micro-scale projects that introduce firewood based improved cookstoves and reduce up to 10,000 tCO2e a year. To avoid resource-intensive kitchen tests, the methodology provides defaults for aspects like aging of stoves and the emission factor of firewood and baseline fuel consumption. The methodology provides guidelines for simplified monitoring while aiming to maintain robustness. Comments are due March 30, 2013.

  – Provide feedback

 
From the minibar to the watering hole

Next month at World Water Day, ClimateCare and partners are slated to launch the WHOLE WORLD Water Fund, which will benefit clean and safe water programs around the globe. Participating members of the hospitality and tourism industry – including Soneva, Six Senses, Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Hotels, Banyan Tree, Auberge du Soleil, Tao Restaurant Group, The Ritz-Carlton (Charlotte and Lake Tahoe), Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Dusit Hotels and Resorts, JetWing Hotels, and The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu – will filter, bottle, and sell their own water, contributing 10% of proceeds to the Fund. The Fund, managed by ClimateCare, will invest in water projects with the potential to generate carbon offsets. Founding member Soneva also has its feet in carbon through its Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust, last year providing investment in Impact Carbon's Gold Standard cookstoves project in Darfur, Sudan.

  – Read ClimateCare press release
  – Read Soneva/Impact Carbon press release

 
What's Plan B?

 

The PopOffsets scheme, run by UK charity Population Matters (and backed by Sir David Attenborough, for all you Planet Earth buffs), is the first project of its kind that enables individuals and organizations to offset their carbon footprint at £10/tCO2e ($15.24) by funding family planning and women's empowerment programs. The scheme's managing director, John Charnock-Wilson, says the three-year-old scheme plans to apply for certification in the carbon markets. Critics believe it may be difficult to quantify the extent to which family planning efforts lead to avoided emissions – potentially following a similar vein as suppressed demand methodologies currently available in the marketplace.

 

  – Read more

 
Neutral broadcasting

An Ottawa-based radio station – Live 88.5 – plans on being carbon neutral for its fourth consecutive year by planting 5,700 trees in partnership with the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation. Through tree planting, the Canadian station has managed to offset emissions from the office’s yearly energy consumption, travel and commute for 35 staff members. Dan Cooper, the conservation authority’s forestry program manager, comments that by setting this internal goal the radio station is also causing external movement, inspiring other businesses to follow its example. So far, eight hectares have been reforested in the Ottawa Valley; 30 different tree species are expected to be planted in the spring. 

  – Read more

 
ICRAF is home free

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) announced its Nairobi, Kenya headquarters carbon neutral last month in what it sees as its first major step toward becoming a fully carbon neutral institution. ICRAF's headquarters offset its emissions for these next two years with credits generated from Wildlife Works' VCS/CCB-certified Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project in Kenya, with credits sourced through The CarbonNeutral Company. In conjunction with using offsetting, ICRAF's headquarters is working to reduce its carbon footprint with a new recycling system and energy-saving lighting, as well as plans to reduce the need for travel by updating its video conferencing system.

  – Read press release

 

Climate North America

A green ROW to hoe

Early this month, the REDD+ Offset Working Group (ROW) held the first of three workshops on its draft recommendations for accepting REDD+ credits into California's cap-and-trade scheme, focusing on reference levels; monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV); and additionality. An Ecosystem Marketplace article discusses the implications of the recommendations, including insights from the ROW's technical experts like Dan Nepstad, Steve Schwartzman, and Toby Janson-Smith. The recommendations encourage California's partner jurisdictions to demonstrate own effort in cutting emissions by setting a baseline lower than the jurisdiction’s reference level. This could potentially lead to a supply that exceeds California offsets demand. The ROW suggests that partner jurisdictions reduce the burden of selling to multiple markets by issuing credits themselves or registering reductions with a third-party carbon standard.

  – Read Ecosystem Marketplace article
  – Read about upcoming ROW workshops

 
A good year for the 2013 California vintage

Over 90 organizations participated in the California Air Resources Board's (ARB) second auction of GHG allowances, held last Tuesday. As in the first auction last November, all of the current vintage allowances (priced at $13.62/tCO2e) sold out, and in fact, were overbid. 80% of the $176 million in revenues from current vintage allowances will go to California households that draw power from the state's major electric utilities in the form of climate dividends. Nearly half of allowances for 2016 ($10.71/tCO2e) were sold. The third auction is scheduled for May 16. In the interest of fine-tuning California's scheme, University of Virginia economists recently released a study of the auction system with recommendations for adjustments and further study.

  – Read ARB report on auction
  – Read about auction from NDRC
  – Read UVA recommendations

 
In the clearing stands a Boxer

White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated last month that the White House would rule out any carbon tax plans, but this was no means the last word on the subject. Senator Barbara Boxer and Independent Senator Bernie Sanders recently revealed plans for a climate bill that would introduce a $20/tCO2e-carbon tax, to be pushed toward a Senate vote by this summer. The tax would fall on 2,869 power plants, refineries and industrial facilities, to rise 5.6% annually over 10-year periods, envisioned to bring in $1.2 trillion in revenues. Of this revenue, 60% would help energy bill payers to help them cope with any increase in tax-affiliated energy costs, while 40% would go to programs aimed at improving building energy efficiency and investment in clean tech research and development. Prospects for passing the bill through Congress are shaky, given anticipated opposition from Democrats in coal-rich states and little indication of Republican support.

  – Read about proposed carbon tax
  – Read White House's statement

 
Ontario goes for the full Mountie

Last month, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment released a discussion paper that favors a GHG reduction strategy in line with the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). The province expresses interest in an equivalency arrangement that would allow it to develop its own regulatory framework that achieves same or better outcomes than the federal government's prospective regulation on coal-fired electricity generation. In the paper, Ontario proposes to develop offset protocols in coordination with WCI and North America 2050, in the short term potentially adapting existing protocols for NO2 from fertilizer management, dairy cattle, ozone depleting substances, and landfill methane. Elsewhere in Canada, Alberta and Quebec are already backing market-based GHG reduction programs, while Saskatchewan is proposing its own emissions trading scheme.

  – Read more from Financial Post
  – Read discussion paper

 

Kyoto & Beyond

EU ETS on the operating table

Last week, the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety voted to endorse the European Commission's proposal to recover prices by backloading 900 MtCO2e in carbon allowances – if the proposal is passed, these allowances would be auctioned in 2019-2020 rather than 2013-2015. The proposal will need to survive a plenary vote in April, however, before it can become promulgated as legislation; Poland remains opposed to the plan; and Germany has yet to take a stance. In the meantime, Germany cancelled an EUA auction for the second time because bids failed to reach the asking price. While the European Commission's support provides some reassurance to the EU ETS, more clarity is needed before the price of carbon can go up.

  – Read about progress on backloading proposal
  – Read about cancelled auction
  – Read about carbon price plunge

 

Global Policy Update

Taxes in yuanderland

The Chinese government recently released more details on its plans to pass a carbon tax alongside taxes on coal, water, and other environmentally damaging or energy intensive goods and services, intended to replace the country's existing pollution discharge fees. While it is unclear when the new sino-taxes would take effect, the government previously reported that the carbon tax would start by 2015 as a 10 CNY ($1.60/tCO2e) on large polluters, to increase through 2020. Jia Chen, head of the Ministry of Finance, said local taxation authorities rather than national environmental protection bodies would collect the levies.

  – Read more

 

Science & Technology

Tree hugging crowdsourced

Forest carbon project developer BioCarbon Partners (BCP) is piloting a digital biomass data collection system to quantify carbon stocks in the Miombo forest woodlands for its Lower Zambezi REDD+ project, which is located in Zambia. This system is one of Africa's first such systems carried out by a community-based biomass assessment team, and expedites data collection and reportedly reduces error compared to standard biomass collection surveys that require hard-copy data collection and data capture. BCP plans to leverage this technology on future REDD+ projects, and will be documenting its experiences on its blog.

  – Read about data collection system
  – Read about Lower Zambezi REDD+ project

 

Featured Jobs

Carbon Program Associate/Associate Manager - Ecosystem Marketplace

Based in Washington, DC, the program associate/associate manager will oversee the management and promotion of the organization’s online Forest Carbon Portal website and Project Inventory; coordinate, research and co-author the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets and State of the Forest Carbon Markets reports; and serve as a source of expertise on carbon markets. Candidates should have a graduate degree with strong expertise in or knowledge of the carbon markets. Read more about the position here.

  – Read more about the position here

 
Two Positions - South Pole Carbon

Based in Zurich or London, the GoldPower Global Sales and Product Manager will drive sales of GoldPower renewable energy products into the European and UK markets as well as support Australasian sales through a combination of direct sales and indirect sales working with South Pole's licensees. Candidates should have strong sales experience. Based in Zurich, Switzerland, the Iran Country Manager will manage South Pole's pipeline of emissions reduction projects in Iran, ensure timely verification and issuance of CERs from the Iranian project portfolio, and source further emissions reduction projects in Iran. Candidates should have 1-5 years' experience with the CDM, a Master's in industrial engineering, management or economics, and native fluency in Farsi.

  – Read more about the S&M manager position here
  – Read more about the Iran Country Manager position here

 
Senior Specialist, Green Products - Washington Gas Energy Services

Based in Virginia, the specialist will develop and execute annual marketing plans for WGES's Carbon Offsets Plus and WindPower products, manage relationships with carbon offsets partners, and facilitate expansion or implementation of new and existing projects, alongside other tasks. Candidates should have a Bachelor's degree in environmental science, engineering or related field, with 5+ years' experience supporting environmental programs or products.

  – Read more about the position here

 
Technical Expert - The Gold Standard

Based in Turkey, the expert will contribute to the Quality Assurance process with the review of project activities submitted to the Standard for certification. S/he will also help further develop the Standard's rules and procedures, new methodologies, and capacity building activities. Candidates should have a Bachelor's in engineering, science, or related field, ideally with 4-5 years' experience in the carbon markets, and fluency in Turkish.

  – Read more about the position here

 
Sales and Marketing Intern - Face the Future

Face the Future is looking for an intern to join its marketing and sales team for a period of 6 months with a possibility of earning an entry-level position upon successful completion. The intern would create, manage and organize marketing content, conduct carbon market research, and help out with processing sales orders and reaching out to prospective clients. Candidates should have a Bachelor's in marketing/communications and/or environmental sciences, 1-2 years' experience in a marketing or sales role, and be fluent in English and Dutch.

  – Read more about the position here

 
 
 

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