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This Week In V-Carbon:
A Walk Through The Alto Mayo Forest

Validated under the Verified Carbon Standard and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards, Conservation International’s REDD project in the Alto Mayo forest of Peru has generated 3 MtC02 in emissions reductions to date with 400,000 of that attributed to Disney, a key supporter of the project with a $3.5 million contribution and slated for another multi-million dollar donation.


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



10 July 2013 |
We are pleased to announce the successful launch of the full version of the State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 report, now available for free download! The event, which took place on June 20 here in Washington, DC, was well attended by carbon stakeholders from across the DC metropolitan area and the US. 


Thank you to everyone who attended the launch event and to those who contributed to this year’s report! We look forward to working with you again next year!

Switching gears, a new article translated from Ecosystem Marketplace’s Spanish sister site Valorando Naturaleza takes us for a walk through the Alto Mayo forest in Peru, where Conservation International has been nurturing a REDD project with support from the Walt Disney Company.

 

Back in 2008, Disney reached out to Conservation International (CI) for recommendations on how to offset the environmental impact of its resorts. CI eventually pointed them to Alto Mayo, a legally protected area where locals had nonetheless settled on the land and were engaging in shifting cultivation and logging activities.

 

Through CI's REDD project and support from the state government, people that were settled on the land were given permission to stay in the protected area as long as they signed and complied with Conservation Agreements, through which they learned to practice sustainable agroecology. In particular, farmers received directions on how to sow coffee in a way that did not disrupt the growth of native trees, and without the use of herbicides.

 

"The idea was to give them instruments to continue farming, but without violating the Forest of Alto Mayo," says engineer Maximo Arcos, who advises the project.

 

Last year, the project was validated under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards. To date, the Alto Mayo project has resulted in the mainstreaming of sustainable agriculture practices in the area, preservation of local biodiversity, and the generation of 3 MtCO2 in emissions reductions – equivalent to removing 500,000 cars off the road for one year. Of that total, 400,000 tCO2e has been attributed to a $3.5M contribution by Disney and gone toward offsetting the company’s carbon footprint. To honor its environmental commitments, Disney has since agreed to provide a second grant of $3.5M to Conservation International’s work in Alto Mayo.

 

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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—The Editors

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


V-Carbon News

Voluntary Carbon

Disney helps dreams come true

A new article translated from Ecosystem Marketplace’s Valorando Naturaleza provides an in-depth look into Conservation International’s VCS/CCB-validated Alto Mayo REDD+ project in Peru, and Disney’s $3.5M contribution to the project. Tracing its roots back to 2008, the project has resulted in the mainstreaming of sustainable agriculture practices in the area, preservation of local biodiversity, and the generation of 3 MtCO2 in emissions reductions to date. Of that, 400,000 tCO2e has been attributed to Disney’s contribution and gone toward offsetting the company’s carbon footprint. Disney has since agreed to provide a second grant of $3.5M to Conservation International’s work in Alto Mayo.

  – Read Ecosystem Marketplace article

 
Bridging the Great Wall

As China rolls out seven domestic pilot emissions trading schemes this year – with the city of Shenzhen’s debuting last month – market actors are wondering how carbon offsets will fit into the picture. A new Ecosystem Marketplace article provides a breakdown of the types of offsets eligible for trading, existing supply and potential demand, as well as what’s on the horizon. Aside from existing CDM project offsets, offsets from projects developed to the VCS or Gold Standard may also be eligible for voluntary emissions trading if they follow CDM-adapted methodologies that have been approved by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Domestic initiatives like the Panda Standard, China’s first voluntary carbon standard, are seeking NDRC approval for forestry and land use methodologies. 

  – Read Ecosystem Marketplace article

 
A one-stop shop

An Ecosystem Marketplace article examines the recent marketing agreement between CO2OL, a Forest Finance Group subsidiary, and the Forest Carbon Group. Together, the two Germany-based organizations will offer forest carbon projects involving REDD+, improved forest management, reforestation and afforestation and serve clients in the events, transport, energy and manufacturing industries. To date, CO2OL has three forest carbon projects certified under the CarbonFix standard, a landfill project under the Gold Standard, and several projects under the Forest Stewardship Council, while Forest Carbon Group has five projects jointly certified to VCS/CCB.

  – Read Ecosystem Marketplace article

 
Rice on the rise

The American Carbon Registry recently approved a new voluntary carbon offset methodology to account for emission reductions tied to agricultural land management project activities that involve a change in rice cultivation practices. Developed by Terra Global Capital with support from Applied Geosolutions, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the California Rice Commission, the methodology is modular in order to allow for additional location-specific modules to be released to suit rice-growing regions around the world. Currently, the methodology includes a module for eligible activities in California, with ACR seeking feedback on expanding the methodology to include eligible activities in US Mid-South rice production. ACR is hosting a free webinar on the new methodology on July 16.

  – Read methodology
  – Register for webinar

 
Boot camp for auditors

The Gold Standard has just launched a new Sustainable Development Accreditation Scheme, which will provide training sessions on Gold Standard rules and requirements for new auditors (including official UN accredited auditors as well as on-the-ground Objective Observers) to better understand how to assess sustainable development parameters and apply them in the assessment of micro-scale projects or programmes. The new scheme is a part of a three-year Gold Standard program to develop innovative tools aimed at lowering barriers to entry and scaling up carbon finance in underserved areas.

  – Read more

 
Retooling leakage and non-permanence risk

The VCS is seeking public feedback on its draft tools for jurisdiction-wide programs crediting REDD+. A new tool to estimate leakage in VCS Jurisdictional Nested REDD+ Programs outlines an approach for jurisdictional programs to deal with leakage as a result of activity shifting, market and deforestation-to-degradation leakage. Public comment is welcome through July 27. A second tool outlines procedures to account for non-permanence risk associated with natural disasters, as well as economic and political risks to the carbon store within the jurisdiction. Public comment is welcome through August 27.

  – Read more about tools

 
Madre Nature

Offsets generated by the Madre de Dios Amazon REDD+ Project recently garnered verification under VCS, offsetting 4.5 MtCO2e over a four-year period spanning from 2009 through 2012. Located in the Peruvian Amazon in “one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots”, the Madre de Dios project covers 100,000 hectares of rainforest developed by Greenoxx Global. The project was originally validated by SCS Global Services under VCS and CCB, earning Gold Level recognition by CCB. Income from the project is projected to fund increased satellite monitoring and field patrolling to mitigate illegal logging and deforestation as well as social programs in local communities.

  – Read press release

 
Yunnan in the thicket of it

While seven pilot emissions trading schemes are in various stages of initiation across China, Yunnan Province launched its own carbon sequestration program on June 17, when China debuted its National Low-Carbon Day. Yunnan Forestry Investment Company (YFI) sold 17,800 tCO2e worth of carbon credits at 1.07M yuan (US$174,000) to the Guangdong-based Friends of Iron and Steel. The Yunnan Development and Reform Commission brokered the deal. The offset purchase will help finance YFI’s work to plant and maintain forest and bamboo groves, supported by a 30-year lease granted by the provincial government to manage 3,500 ha of unused land in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture. The project is expected to sequester 550,000 tCO2e over three decades.

  – Read more

 
Hard to win, easy to lose

Two prospective buyers recently walked away from Cambodia's first REDD project after Cambodia's forestry administration missed the deadline to sign the $911,000 carbon credit deal. Developed by NGO Pact in conjunction with the Cambodian government, the VCS/CCB-validated REDD project has been over five years in the making, its community forests facing increasing incidences of illegal logging. Pact’s Sarah Sitts vocalized her concerns, stating, “If buyers start to see Cambodia can’t sell those credits, buyers might stop coming to Cambodia.” When questioned, Cambodian government officials expressed confusion over the deadline. Back in 2011, Terra Global Capital, tasked with helping to broker offset credits from the project, became the first organization to execute a political risk insurance contract on a REDD project.

  – Read more

 
One-way ticket from New Delhi to Kochi

Back in 2011, India’s Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) became the world’s first rail-based Metro system to earn CDM-certified carbon credits. Now, DMRC is helping set up Kochi Metro in the State of Kerala. Construction of the first phase of Kochi Metro started in June and is expected to be finished by 2016. In the meantime, the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has contracted consulting agency CDM Smith to conduct a study on potential emissions reductions and carbon credits that could be generated down the line once the metro starts running.

  – Read more

 
Fetching water from the other Bank

New York-based Recyclebank – a large consumer-facing engagement platform for all things sustainability – has just announced a 27% reduction in its corporate carbon emissions, from 830 tCO2e in 2011 to 602 tCO2e in 2012. Since 2009, the company has partnered with US-based offset supplier NativeEnergy to calculate its emissions and offset any outstanding emissions after reductions. Carbon offset projects supported by RecycleBank include NativeEnergy’s Help Build project in Siaya and Bond, Kenya, which involves in the installation of more than 1,200 water filters in homes and schools, which provides health benefits on top of underlying emission reductions based on the avoided burning of firewood.

  – Read press release

 
Izzet time yet?

This year, a carbon offset guru made it to New York’s Top 10 Energy Entrepreneurs, a ranking conducted each year by energy news publication Breaking Energy. Under the leadership of Founder and CEO Izzet Bensusan since its inception in 2008, Karbone has expanded over the years to open offices in London and Istanbul and has been involved in transactions totaling at more than $500 million. In the last six months, the firm has been honing on the renewable energy market in the US, closing a number of renewable energy financing deals and bolstering its presence in REC and SREC compliance brokerage, as well as physical power and the Green-e voluntary REC market.

  – Read press release
  – See rankings

 

Climate North America

Free California workshop!

The American Carbon Registry and Marten Law are hosting a free one-day workshop in Sacramento on July 17 where they will provide up-to-date information on generating, acquiring, and trading California compliance instruments – relevant to both regulated emitters and potential offset suppliers. Presentations and panel discussions featuring industry leaders will cover topics ranging from how the California market works to how to manage market risks and the benefits and long-term implications of various compliance strategies.

  – Read agenda
  – Register for workshop

 
When push comes to shove

A recent Ecosystem Marketplace article unravels the story behind President Barack Obama’s proposal to limit carbon pollution from power plant polluters as part of a comprehensive climate plan. While the president’s speech did not provide explicit details on future EPA regulations, his announcement may encourage the private sector to take tangible action on climate change. The climate plan also discusses REDD+, acknowledging high-levels of emissions stemming from the land use sector in developing nations. “It’s encouraging to see President Obama put forward a bold plan to address the challenges of climate change and embrace key provisions like carbon finance and REDD to achieve these goals,” states David Antonioli, CEO of VCS.

  – Read Ecosystem Marketplace article

 
Strength in numbers

In California, a group of offset project developers came together to form the newly-minted Compliance Offset Developers Association (CODA), a forum for project developers to share technical knowledge and ideas regarding emissions reductions projects under California’s cap-and-trade program. CODA intends to connect project developers in order to gain a better understanding of the rules and regulations of the offset market on a collaborative basis. A “member-driven and transparent organization,” CODA is open to companies that have three or more projects in forestry, ODS or livestock, project types that are eligible for California compliance. Current members include A-GAS RemTec, Camco, Coolgas, Inc., Diversified Pure Chem, Environmental Credit Corp, and Terrapass.

  – Read Ecosystem Marketplace article

 

Global Policy Update

Will Australia float... or sink?

There has been recent discussion that Kevin Rudd, sworn in for his second stint as Australia’s prime minister last week – in place of Julia Gillard – could announce an accelerated transition away from the current fixed carbon price to a floating carbon price, which is anticipated to be cheaper and thus more politically palatable. Under original plans, Australia’s Carbon Price Mechanism is scheduled to transition to a floating carbon price starting July 2015. Existing legislative provisions say that July 2014 would be the earliest that the Rudd government could start a floating price. Discussions are still speculative, and with federal elections this autumn, Australia still faces a risk of the carbon price being scrapped completely should Opposition party leader Tony Abbott win the election to become prime minister.

  – Read more from The Guardian
  – Read more from Bloomberg

 
Gold Standard gets salute back home

The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment recently published guidelines stipulating that Gold Standard credits are the only ones automatically eligible as CERs within the Swiss Emissions Trading Scheme. Offsets generated under other standards are required to prove how they meet required quality criteria in order to go toward fulfilling emitters’ obligations. The Swiss emissions trading scheme, launched in 2008, requires large, energy-intensive companies to participate on a mandatory basis, while allowing medium-sized firms to participate on a voluntary basis. The Gold Standard Foundation is based in Switzerland.

  – Read more

 

Featured Jobs

Carbon Markets Specialist – Ecodit

Based in Kazakhstan, the Carbon Markets Specialist will be the lead technical expert for support to the Government of Kazakhstan and regulated community on the ETS. Candidates should have at least a Master’s Degree in an environmental- or climate change-related field, such as public policy, economics, law, science or international development and 7+ years of experience in the design and implementation of carbon market mechanisms.

  – Read more about the position here

 
EU Emissions Trading Internship/Master’s Thesis – FutureCamp

The Munich-based consultancy invites applications for candidates to embark on a Master's thesis or internship, where they will provide quantitative analysis of the market structure in the EU ETS as well as an analysis of trading strategies of market participants, broken down to sectors. Candidates should have a degree in industrial engineering and management, business management or economics.

  – Read more about the position here

 
Ecosystem Services Officer, Environmental Markets – Fauna & Flora International

Based in London, the Ecosystem Services Officer will provide technical input and support on ecosystem services valuation and assessment to a range of biodiversity and ecosystem service projects. Candidates should have relevant advanced (MSc or PhD) degree in environmental economics, ecosystem valuation, environmental markets/PES or other relevant field and 3+ years’ experience of working on environmental issues, in particular ecosystem valuation. Read more about the position here.

  – Read more about the position here

 
Intern, Carbon Markets – Nuru

Based in San Francisco, the Intern will be responsible for writing an extensive research piece on carbon market business opportunities, including supply chain and life cycle assessments as well as rebates and incentives. Candidates should have a degree in business and 2+ years of business experience, preferably in renewable/sustainable energy or carbon markets.

  – Read more about the position here

 
Various positions – Ecofys

Based in Cologne, the Consultant (EU Emissions Trading) will consult with firms in energy-intensive industries who face challenges due to new EU ETS regulations. Candidates should have a degree in natural science or engineering and 3-5+ years' experience implementing EU emission trading in companies. Also based in Cologne, the Intern (Carbon Market Mechanism Evaluation) will evaluate the current status and options for GHG mitigation activities under the CDM and will be responsible for data gathering and analysis tasks. Candidates should have an interest in carbon market mechanisms and climate change. Based in Cologne or Berlin, the Intern (Climate Policies Unit) will conduct research on international/national climate policy issues, especially on mitigation related policy. Candidates should have knowledge of finance and climate finance proficiency in French.

 

 
 
 

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