It’s expensive to develop carbon offset projects that reduce emissions by capturing carbon in trees, and one reason is that every project has to develop its own methodologies for measuring results. The UNFCCC is asking for help in streamlining that process.
If you want to sell carbon offsets in exchange for action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, you first have to prove that the money you’re earning is what makes the action you’re taking possible. That, in a nutshell, is "additionality" – a simple concept, but one that’s proving difficult to put into practice.
When Ecosystem Marketplace launched in 2005, the idea of preserving nature by incorporating its value into our economic system was mostly an academic exercise. Today, it’s the cornerstone of a fast-moving and innovative branch of finance. To keep our readers up-to-speed on the latest developments, EM and EKO Asset Management Partners have launched the EKO-ECO blog.
Deforestation accounts for 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and the UN bodies charged with mapping out the role of forestry offsets in a post-Kyoto climate-change regime are meeting in Bonn, Germany, this week and next to continue the process of hammering out their differences. The groups will meet at least three more times before gathering in Copenhagen at the end of the year.
UN negotiators meeting in Bonn, Germany, made progress on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), while delegates to the Katoomba Meeting in Cuiabá, Brazil, broadly endorsed the use of REDD financing to save the Amazon Rainforest. Ecosystem Marketplace examines the best coverage of both proceedings.
The European Commission has called for an OECD-wide carbon market by 2015 and ratcheted up calls for developing countries to keep their own emissions in check, but the question of whether offsets can be used to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation won’t be answered until the rest of the world makes up its mind. Ecosystem Marketplace summarizes the debate.
The European Parliament’s Environment Committee on Tuesday called for tighter post-Kyoto emission caps than previously proposed and the recognition of forestry offsets for the first time under an EU-sanctioned cap-and-trade regime. But it also said companies that take full advantage of offsets today might lose their right to use them for future compliance – something that has project developers crying foul.
The once-radical concept of saving the environment by documenting the economic value of environmental services and then getting industry to pay is finally catching on – but how is one to keep track of all the new methodologies and concepts? The Ecosystem Marketplace presents The Matrix, a new tool for surveying the ecosystem services landscape.
Payments for Ecosystem Services encourage entities that benefit from ecosystem services to pay for maintaining those ecosystems – but how? At the Biodiversity Conference (COP 9) in Bonn, Germany, Forest Trends, the Katoomba Group and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have jointly unveiled a nuts-and-bolts primer designed to answer that question.
The voluntary carbon market has spawned more than twenty offset standards over the past year – enough to keep even the most diligent market participants feeling a bit overwhelmed. WWF has responded with a 105-page guide to the ten standards that have been around the longest, and the Ecosystem Marketplace takes stock of their efforts.
Mitigation Banking makes it possible for real estate developers to turn biodiversity into an asset instead of a liability – which ultimately makes it possible to preserve that biodiversity across the United States. But how do such mechanisms work? And what challenges do they face? The Worldwatch Institute’s 2008 State of the World Report tackles these and other issues – excerpted here in Ecosystem Marketplace.
In a major demonstration of confidence in the viability of voluntary carbon offsets as a strategic investment, Merrill Lynch is raising equity for a 100-million-ton, for-profit avoided deforestation project in Aceh, Indonesia. Tellingly for the future of the forestry market, the decision to take the plunge had more to do with the cultural and biodiversity benefits than with the carbon itself. The Ecosystem Marketplace examines the deal and its significance.
In late January, the European Union unveiled a proposed two-pronged scheme for reducing greenhouse gas emissions once the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012. The scheme is designed to bring the world on board a post-Kyoto emission reduction regime, but participants say it will kill off many clean development projects in poor countries and raise the cost of reducing emissions in Europe. The Ecosystem Marketplace examines the impact of these latest proposals on the future of the CDM.
The 13th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 13) is more than a month behind us, but plenty of debate lies ahead as advocates and opponents of using forestry to combat climate change air their opinions in the lead up to COP 14 later this year in Poland and COP 15 next year in Denmark. Jeff Horowitz and Robert O’Sullivan of Avoided Deforestation Partners take stock of the Bali Roadmap and what it means for avoided deforestation.
Bovespa president, Raymundo Magliano Filho, announced on 03/07, at a Bovespa event attended by Achim Steiner, executive director of the Programa das Naµes Unidas para o Meio Ambiente (PNUMA – United Nations’ Environment Program), that, as of April, Bolsa de Valores Sociais (BVS – Social Values Exchange) will enhance its performance to also include environmental projects as well. Accordingly, BVS will be renamed Bolsa de Valores Sociais & Ambientais (BVS&A – Social & Environmental Values Exchange). Founded in 2003 and maintained by Bovespa, BVS has raised funds for educational projects undertaken by Brazilian NGOs.
Barely four weeks after the launch of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the market has already gone through one collapse in the price of carbon allowances. The Ecosystem Marketplace takes a look at the EU ETS, its teething troubles, trading strategies, rain gods, and the weather in Scandinavia