A sip of Arabica coffee…
…does more than get you up in the morning. Peruvian coffee growers have a new tool at their disposal. As a pilot group of UK-based Cafédirect’s AdapCC project, Peru-based Cepicafe—one of Cafédirect’s suppliers—is leveraging the carbon market to boost the sustainability of local farming. Farmers are now reforesting degraded grasslands at higher elevations to increase nutrients and water available for lower-level coffee plants, and to provide a sustainable source for firewood. Once plantings are certified to the CarbonFix standard, the carbon credits will be sold and 10% of income will go to Cepicafe. Carbon credits from plantings will ideally be sold to buyers within the same coffee supply chain. Cafédirect is pre-paying funds to purchase credits in order to help the project get up and running.
– Read more from The Guardian
– Read more from Environmental Leader
Colorado Carbon Fund goes intermodal
The Climate Trust (TCT) has chosen a new carbon emission reduction project on behalf of the Colorado Carbon Fund (CCF), its second carbon mitigation project to date. The project entails J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. shifting its trucking-only shipping model to a combined use of rail and trucking for freight transport, i.e. intermodal transportation. Alongside benefits in reduced smog and traffic congestion, CCF and TCT’s initiative represents 30,000 tCO2e in Colorado alone – achieved through increased fuel efficiency. Emission reductions were calculated against an industry-wide performance standard and registered on the Canadian Standards Association’s GHG CleanProjects Registry. Reductions were retired on behalf of donors to the CCF. Ruby Canyon Engineering verified the project’s net climate benefits.
– Read press release
EOS Climate helps Nepal confront its ODS past
In 2001, customs seized contraband CFCs at the Indo-Nepal border. But the 74 tons remained in a dusty warehouse in Birganj, Nepal since then. As a developing-country signatory to the Montreal Protocol, Nepal was allowed to use some of the CFCs until a full ban went into force in 2010, leaving eight tons to sit. After years of negotiations, Nepal’s Bureau of Standards and Metrology, California-based EOS Climate and UNEP have arranged to ship the last of the chemicals to the U.S. to be destroyed for good, paying with carbon credits earned from CFC-12 removal. EOS Climate’s Brian Stewart said the removal prevents the release of over 60,000 tCO2e. EOS Climate will share revenue with the Nepal government to fund training and awareness about responsible refrigerant management and appliance recycling. It remains to be seen if carbon credits could also finance the removal of HCFCs, which have replaced CFCs as an ozone-friendly but potent greenhouse gas.
– Read more
Energy Edge taps Green Giant to broker credits
Energy Edge Technologies Corporation (EEDG) has big fish to fry. The US-based energy engineering and services firm announced at the end of April that it is about to reap huge dividends from its engagement of Green Giant Venture Fund (GGVF), a leading broker in the global carbon credits market. Based on GGVF’s recently concluded audits on the energy efficiency work already completed by EEDG along with the work that it is now contracted to perform – using CDM methodology in conjunction with VCS – EEDG will be able to sell approximately 110,000 tCO2e on the carbon credits market.
– Read more
U-Haul shifts gears with Tree Canada
After reviewing a number of potential offset organizations, the DIY mover has decided to partner with Tree Canada, a not-for-profit dedicated to planting trees in Canada. Under this new CSR effort, U-Haul equipment rental customers will have the option of contributing to Tree Canada’s Grow Clean Air Program to offset their carbon emissions. All U-Haul locations across Canada are participating, with 100% of contributions collected going toward Tree Canada to fund the planting and care of native trees.
– Read more
Two very different takes on personal carbon allowances
Upon conducting a consumer trial in Great Britain, Coca-Cola Co. and The Carbon Trust have published a white paper investigating how people might respond to personal carbon allowances. The study found that while easy-to-understand environmental information changed behavior, consumers remained reluctant to give up certain high-carbon choices in their lifestyles. People showed a strong desire to choose a low carbon lifestyle, but many lack sufficient knowledge and understanding to inform their choices.
Great. But is there an elephant in the room? Cardiff University’s Adam Corner puts forth an provocative hypothesis as he explores why the UK government has written off personal carbon allowances as ahead of their time and cannot be applied to its environmental debt. Corner says divvying up carbon allowances for individuals may reveal disparity in carbon footprints of the rich and the poor. A system of equally divided personal carbon allowances would be radically progressive in wealth redistribution. The rich would have to buy carbon from less wealthy people with less environmentally damaging lifestyles, or dramatically change their behavior. What say you?
– Read about Coke-TCT study
– Read Corner article
FSA touches up the red flag
The UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued an updated warning on scammers selling voluntary carbon credits using “high-pressure sales tactics and targeting vulnerable consumers.” As it continues to receive reports from people targeted by scammers, the FSA says that while carbon credits can be sold and traded legitimately, it is “concerned that many investors do not understand that trading on carbon credit markets requires skill and experience.” A spokesman said that it is generally illegal to cold-call offering investments, while promises of “fantastic returns” and high-pressure sales pitches should raise “red flags” with consumers. Voluntary carbon credit sales are not regulated by the FSA. Carbon market participants complain that the number of firms involved in selling suspect carbon credits – especially REDD credits – has risen in recent months.
– Read more from Environmental Finance (mirror)
A protocol for cities at your doorstep
Hello Addis Ababa, hello Zurich, and everywhere between. In an effort to establish a single standard for measuring emissions from cities, ICLEI and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership group have launched the Global Protocol for Community-Scale GHG Emissions Released (also called the “community protocol”), which they say will make it easier to generate standardized information on how cities reduce emissions. The protocol is built on practices from previously published standards like the International Local Government GHG Emissions Analysis Protocol and the International Standard for Determining GHG Emissions for Cities – both to be replaced by the community protocol. Going forward, the partner organizations will pilot the community protocol in selected cities around the world. Pilot results and feedback will feature in the first edition of the full community protocol to be published later this year.
– Read more from Environmental Expert
– Read ICLEI press release
VCS draft on nested REDD
Baselines, leakage, and monitoring across jurisdictional levels, oh my. On May 3, VCS released for public comment draft requirements for the integrated, jurisdiction-wide crediting of REDD+ activities. The draft Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR) requirements set out the first global framework for the accounting and crediting of REDD+ activities across multiple levels, recognizing emissions reductions from policies and programs as well as projects “nested” within states, provinces or nations. Comments may be submitted by July 2. A webinar describing the JNR requirements in detail will be held on May 24.
– Read more
Reduce & Retire: The Latest on Carbon Neutral
Microsoft sets own rule
The largest firm to date to make such a commitment, Microsoft has set an internal price for carbon as part of its drive to be carbon neutral by July. Microsoft bases its carbon price on the cost of buying offsets and the price of investing in renewable energy. The carbon price will apply to electricity usage and company flights in all corporate operations across 100 countries. COO Kevin Turner says the idea is to make all units individually responsible for their carbon reduction, with the price as an incentive to reduce emissions as much as possible. The money will go into a fund used to invest in renewable energy and carbon offsets for unabated emissions. Microsoft stated that all new data centers should be 30%-50% more efficient. It will be interesting to see what Apple and other tech giants have to say about Microsoft’s big play.
– Read more from GreenBiz
– Read more from Harvard Business Review
– Read more from Financial Mail
Volcom and UPS, PPR and Wildlife Works move fashion forward
Skaters and poseurs, ladies and gentlemen… Volcom has announced its voluntary participation in the UPS carbon neutral program (verified and certified by CarbonNeutral), which will allow Volcom to track and reduce company-wide carbon impacts related to shipping through offset projects like reforestation and renewable energy installments. UPS will calculate the carbon impacts of Volcom shipments, apply a destination-based fee per package, then earmark that money for carbon credits. Volcom will cover the $0.05-$0.75 fee. UPS carbon neutral shipping will be available to consumers on shop.volcom.com immediately. The program will roll out to Volcom’s corporate internal and retail shipments by mid-2012.
For Puma, Gucci, and Yves Saint Laurent, look to holding company PPR, which has offset the 2011 global emissions from its luxury division, sport-and-lifestyle division, and headquarters totaling 95,100 tCO2 to become carbon neutral. PPR purchased carbon credits from Wildlife Works’ Kasigau Corridor REDD offsetting project in Kenya, the world’s first VCS-validated and verified REDD program. PPR has also acquired a 5% stake in Wildlife Works Carbon, LLC to support its long-term sustainability goals, and will sit on Wildlife Works’ Management Committee.
– Read more about Volcom
– Read more about PPR
Climate North America
Cali and Quebec connect the dots
Two weeks ago, California proposed regulation allowing cross-border trading of allowances and offset credits between California and Quebec. The one-state, one-province arrangement is the first cross-border carbon trading system created since the EU ETS in 2005. Mary Nichols, California ARB chairman said the linkage lays the groundwork for other regional and national partners to join. British Columbia, also a member, is expected to formally join the WCI in a few months. Nichols said she was planning a trip to Australia to discuss the potential to link its new program with California’s, suggesting that linkages would spread even if no national U.S. program emerges in five years. It is unclear what impact linking with Quebec, which has one-sixth the amount of greenhouse gas emissions as California, may mean for carbon prices. California will take comments on the proposal before regulators vote on linking language on June 28.
– More from The New York Times
– More from Reuters
Mexico-California Advocacy Day on Mexican offsets
An article by Carlos Gutierrez, Mexico’s representative in Sacramento, reflects upon the progress Mexico has made as a result of macroeconomic stability, innovative social programs and open borders to trade—and its close trade partnership with California. With the support of key members of the Legislature and the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento, civic organization Cien Amigos organized California-Mexico Advocacy Day earlier this month. This year’s theme covered Mexico’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and opportunities for cooperation against global warming within California’s cap-and-trade program. Mexican carbon offsets could help encourage green trade. If goods imported into California are better than the domestic benchmark of carbon intensity, these net emission reductions could be converted into offsets that are fungible in California.
– Read more
California dreaming, all eyes watching
After several attempts to stop its AB32 cap-and-trade law, and more than one delay of the law’s implementation, California is finally preparing for its first carbon auction. The results of that auction may determine the fate of carbon regulation in the U.S. and, perhaps more importantly, the value placed on carbon in the U.S. marketplace, according to a Forbes article. “California has put into place the first real market system that lashes the markets to climate change solutions,” says Larry Goldenhersh, CEO of environmental ERP software provider Enviance, which is working with firms to prepare for the shift in California. “The results will determine whether we have federal cap and trade in the next five years. It doesn’t matter who’s elected.”
– Read more
The Reserve goes big
The Climate Action Reserve has become the first registry to accept submissions for greenhouse gas emission reduction projects under California’s cap-and-trade protocols, as it undergoes the application process to become an ARB-accredited offset project registry. Project owners and developers may submit project documents to get a head start in obtaining review of project documents, ensure their adherence to ARB’s adopted offset protocols, and list projects in the Reserve’s registry. The Reserve will host a public webinar providing an overview of ARB’s compliance protocols and detailing the process for submitting a compliance project this Wednesday, May 23 at 12:00 pm PDT.
The Climate Action Reserve is also honored to present its new Honorary Board, which will help advise the development of the Reserve’s offset program. The board consists of five climate leaders and activists who have helped raise awareness about climate change and developing climate policies in California, Canada and elsewhere.
– Read more about project submissions
– Read more about the board
Kyoto & Beyond
CDM positive on small projects
Developers and investors, stay tuned. The CDM executive board (EB) is considering steps to streamline project assessment to help incentivize small-scale project development. In Bonn, the EB asked the UNFCCC secretariat to prepare a proposal to expand the “positive list” of projects that qualify for eligibility under the CDM without needing an elaborate and costly validation process to test additionality. The UNFCCC says the board wants to consider expanding the list by setting a size criteria, and whether the validation step could be abbreviated or dropped altogether in some cases. The new process would help support small-scale projects, defined by the UN as generating under 15,000 tCO2 a year. Positive lists may help when combined with the programme of activities (PoA) approach to CDM, which the UNFCCC sees as an important means to extend the reach of the CDM, particularly in under-represented regions. The changes will be considered later this year.
– Read more from Argus Media
– Read more from Bloomberg
UN launches interest-free loan scheme
The UNFCCC has launched an interest-free CDM loan scheme, as of the African Carbon Forum in April. Underdeveloped countries and those with under 10 CDM-registered projects registered will be eligible for interest-free loans supported by the UNFCCC, the UNEP Risoe Centre, and the UN Office for Project Services. To access loans for design, validation, and registration, pending CDM projects will have to meet a number of criteria, including a high probability of registration and a reasonable expectation of generating at least 7,500 CER credits per year for LDC projects and 15,000 CERs per year for non-LDC projects. Applications are now being accepted for the first round of reviews, to end in June.
Recent data from the UNEP Risoe Centre shows that in the last three years there has been a significant increase in the number of CDM projects started in Africa compared to other regions, a trend observers predict will likely continue. A World Bank press release on the Africa Carbon Forum provides a breakdown of CDM projects per country.
– Read about loan scheme
– Read about CDM projects in Africa
Bonn rocky on milestones
Divisions have emerged at the UN Bonn talks over the future of Kyoto. At the outset, developing countries insisted that the extension on the Kyoto Protocol should continue to be enforced over five-year commitment periods, while the EU preferred an eight-year commitment period to be replaced by the new international treaty in 2020. Large emitters like the US, Japan, Russia, and Canada signaled they would not sign up to an extended Kyoto, while large emerging economies would only sign an agreement that did not impose binding emission reduction targets on them.
Another point of conflict revolved around suspicion that developed countries are working toward a new treaty that would wipe out existing obligations, potentially stalling talks on the Bali Action Plan of 2009 and whether they have met their obligations on reducing emissions and financing poor countries. India led a joint statement on behalf of the BASIC countries, stating that the negotiations would falter unless developed countries operationalized their targets to reduce emissions under Kyoto Protocol Phase II by year end. Bonn delegates warned yesterday that reluctance to raise emission targets due to economic constraints may hinder progress towards limiting global warming. The talks continue until May 25.
– Read about Kyoto extension from The Guardian
– Read about Kyoto extension from Reuters
– Read about Bali stall from Times of India
Time to take care of SIS
Prior to the Bonn meetings, the REDD+ Safeguards Information System Working Group produced a briefing paper on safeguards information systems (SIS). At COP17 in Durban, it was agreed that the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) would consider the need for further guidance to “ensure transparency, consistency, comprehensiveness and effectiveness when informing on how all safeguards are addressed and respected and, if appropriate, to consider additional guidance” and report to COP18 in Doha this December. The briefing paper explains why more guidance would be useful, and proposes that prior to COP18, Parties and observers be invited to make submissions on lessons and challenges, with an analytical paper commissioned based on their submissions.
– Read more
India and China up in the air
Eight Chinese and two Indian commercial airlines have broken EU law that requires them to offset carbon emissions, the EU’s climate chief said last Tuesday. The EU law has prompted threats of a trade war. “We have given them [India and China] until mid-June to report back their data,” EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told a news briefing. To reduce tension, the Commission has looked to the UN’s International Civil Aviation Administration (ICAO) to come up with a global approach to curbing emissions from airlines, and said it would modify its law if ICAO can deliver a deal. The body is expected to meet next month to review progress.
– Read more from Reuters
– Read more from Aviation International News
EU ETS on the operating table
As the EU ETS permit glut has continued to grow over the course of the past month, a prolific amount of material has come out as industry, regulators, and media work to generate and analyze potential policy responses. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has analyzed the impact of raising EU emission reduction targets. Giuseppe Montesano from Italian energy company Enel offers recommendations on how to re-establish confidence in Europe’s power sector as an actor in the emission reductions game, stressing a long-term perspective. EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard discusses the EU’s plan to backload, i.e. delay carbon auctions, as a short-term fix. EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger is willing to support measures to boost EU carbon prices to 10 euros ($13) or more to incentivize clean tech investments. Companies and analysts have suggested the need for an automatic intervention system to manage the ETS. Camco CEO Scott McGregor mentions the idea of a carbon Additional resources
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