This Week In V-Carbon:Connecting The Dots

A Resources for the Future workshop discusses the economics behind ETS linkages, timely given Australia’s new plans to link its ETS with the EU ETS. California carries out a mock trial auction for its cap-and-trade program. Thailand incubates its voluntary carbon market. The Brazilian Boa Vista A/R project becomes ACR’s first verified forest carbon project in Latin America.

A Resources for the Future workshop discusses the economics behind ETS linkages, timely given Australia’s new plans to link its ETS with the EU ETS. California carries out a mock trial auction for its cap-and-trade program. Thailand incubates its voluntary carbon market. The Brazilian Boa Vista A/R project becomes ACR’s first verified forest carbon project in Latin America.

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

8 September 2012 | New domestic market mechanisms moved from theory to practice over the last two weeks, with a recently announced collaboration between Australia and the European Union starting in 2015 and a successful practice cap-and-trade auction in California.

As part of a  workshop on border measures  organized by Resources for the Future this week, researchers explored the political and economic appeal of direct linking of emissions trading schemes (ETS) and indirect linking of offsets markets as alternatives to border carbon adjustments. One of the papers presented, written by Marco Springmann from the University of Oldenburg, concludes that linking Annex I countries’ domestic ETS and extending sectoral coverage in a large coalition would yield greater global welfare improvements than implementing carbon tariffs on energy-intensive goods imported by non-Annex I countries. It was noted that price controls are incompatible with such linkages, as they hinder acting countries from fully harmonizing carbon prices.

Australia will be testing the waters with its own linkage starting in 2015 when it links its ETS with the EU ETS and scraps its price floor, setting the stage for the world’s first full inter-continental linkage of emissions trading schemes. An  Ecosystem Marketplace exclusive  digs into what Australia’s “link-and-scrap” decision could mean for the domestic project development under the Carbon Farming Initiative.


While it appears the new policy could potentially point to some short-term price uncertainty for Australian farmers as Australian emitters gain access to the EU’s cheaper carbon credits, in the long run it could deliver efficiencies to the international carbon market. The removal of the floor price in particular, says Dave Sag of Australia-based Carbon Planet says, honors “the whole point of emission trading schemes, [which] is to deliver a certain level of reductions at the lowest cost.”


More linkages could be on the horizon, with Australia’s climate change minister Greg Combet stating that Australia would also pursue links with South Korea, New Zealand, and California. Point Carbon’s Emilie Mazzacurati projected that a linkage with California would not occur until further down the line once both EU and Australian prices stabilize. California pulled off a relatively smooth-sailing  mock trial auction  last week, just months before the state officially launches its cap-and-trade program in November.


Elsewhere in the carbon markets, at the national level Thailand is  pushing for legislation  on GHG emissions reporting as it builds capacity for a domestic voluntary carbon market, slated for roll-out by October 2013. At the project level, Brazil saw its Boa Vista afforestation/reforestation carbon offset project  become  the first Latin American forest carbon project verified under the American Carbon Registry.


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V-Carbon News

Voluntary Carbon

Thailand tries to make history

In hopes of solidifying a voluntary carbon market in Thailand by October of next year, the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO) is working on a law that obliges corporations to report their GHG emissions. TGO’s deputy and acting executive director Prasertsuk Chamornmarn says the final draft is expected to be submitted to a national committee on climate change and the cabinet next year before being sent to parliament. She stresses that  enacting the legislation will be crucial given that Thailand is slated to join other developing nations in decreasing GHG emissions after 2020.  The country has already started a voluntary carbon trading system that covers corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.

   – Read more


Brazil’s Boa Vista boasts verification

This week the Brazilian Boa Vista afforestation/reforestation carbon offset project was verified by third-party certifier SCS Global Services under the American Carbon Registry Standard, becoming ACR’s first verified forest carbon project in Latin America. The project involves planting and now managing timber plantations spanning more than 23,000 ha of trees, which are expected to sequester approximately 3.7 MtCO2 over forty years. The project’s plantations are also being managed in compliance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s responsible forestry certification standards. F.I.T Timber Ltd. served as the project proponent, while Switzerland-based TREES Forest Carbon Consulting LLC stands as the project developer.

   – Read more


GreenTrees seek Council

The Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE) completed its 2011 annual greenhouse gas inventory and its first voluntary purchase of carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates (RECs) to cover its 2010 and 2011 emissions. BCSE worked with its members First Environment, Inc, Native Energy, and the American Carbon Registry to conduct the inventory and identify domestic offset projects. BCSE acquired carbon offsets for staff travel through its purchase of ACR Forestry Version 2.1 ERTs sourced from the GreenTrees Afforestation project, a privately managed forest restoration and carbon sequestration program created to reforest at least one million acres in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley.

   – Read more from Utility Products
   – Read more about GreenTrees project


IUCN faces the future

This month, over 5,000 people will fly to Jeju Island in South Korea to participate in the 10-day World Conservation Congress (WCC). As organizer, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is offsetting the event’s carbon emissions, which total about 10,000 tCO2e in flight emissions and 2,000 tCO2e for onsite emissions covering 6,900 participants. The IUCN is offsetting these emissions with the Infapro improved forest management project developed by Face the Future. Launched in 1992, the VCS-validated project is working to rehabilitate 25,000 ha of logged rainforest in Borneo, Indonesia, home to the endangered orangutan. To date, Infapro has regrown 12,000 ha of the Borneo rainforest.

   – Read more from Jeju Weekly
   – Read about Infapro project


Cover the odds of losing your ODS

Chartis subsidiary Lexington Insurance Company has just introduced CarbonCover ODS, a property insurance policy that responds to direct physical loss or damage of a physical asset that is being collected to create carbon offsets. Assets can include ozone depleting substances (ODS) removed from refrigeration systems or methane gas extracted from landfills or underground mines. The firm’s Erik Nikodem says the loss valuation structure “allows project developers to protect against lost income they could suffer when they are using property with relatively low replacement cost value to create a higher-value carbon offset credit – and that property is lost or damaged during the process.” Direct physical loss or damage to the asset is measured as the value of offsets that would have been issued for the destroyed asset absent the loss.

   – Read more


Pureprint turns Gold key to ignition

The UK-based Pureprint Group has partnered with The CarbonNeutral Company and The Gold Standard to launch its Pureprint Gold publication service, which enables customers to take responsibility for the carbon emissions created by the production of their printed publications. The service calculates the carbon footprint of a publication, and then organizes the necessary investment in Gold Standard accredited carbon offset projects to make it carbon neutral. Current Pureprint Gold offsets, sourced through The CarbonNeutral Company, come from the Basa Magogo (“Light it up!”) improved cooking technique project in South Africa, a behavior-change programme that teaches local South African communities to burn coal in a more fuel-efficient ignition technique.

   – Read more from PrintWeek
   – Read about Basa Magogo project


ACR wants to hear from you

The American Carbon Registry announced this week that it will be holding an open comment period for its Nested REDD+ Standard, recently developed by Winrock International with aid from a jurisdictional REDD+ Technical Advisory Team. The Standard covers topics such as the minimum requirements for jurisdictional accounting frameworks, reversals and other risks, safeguards against double counting and environmental and other social safeguards and highlights the potential benefits in undergoing a nested REDD+ approach. ACR will host a webinar on September 12th to provide an overview of the Standards and obtain feedback. The comment period will span through September 28, 2012.  

   – Read more


Tennis on the green

Connecticut-based green energy provider Viridian Energy is supplying carbon offsets for all player travel to the US Open, overseen by the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Viridian has purchased 455 tCO2e of carbon offsets, equivalent to the 2.2 million miles that the tennis players will travel by land and air to reach the tournament site in Flushing, NY. The carbon offsets are ACR and Green-e Climate certified, generated from the New Bedford Landfill Gas Utilization Project in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Through its offsetting efforts, USTA hopes to encourage tennis fans to become proactive in environmental stewardship.

   – Read more


University of Firsts

The University of Florida recently announced its partnership with ASI Campus Laundry Solutions and Neutral Gator in attempts to provide on-campus carbon-neutral laundry options. ASI will be offsetting emissions from laundry machines in all 24 of UF’s residence halls, making UF the first university in the sunshine state to offer carbon-neutral laundry options and ASI’s first collegiate partner. Through this project and the university’s already carbon-neutral athletic association, UF will be that much closer to their 2025 goal of being carbon neutral.  

   – Read more


Climate North America

California goes for a test run

In late August, California’s Air Resources Board conducted a mock GHG auction to test the waters before the state officially launches its cap-and-trade program on November 14. ARB officials report that the pretend carbon permit bidding among emitting companies went smoothly. During the program’s first year, the plan is to auction only 10% of credits, giving away the rest for free. Afterwards, the number of free carbon permits is expected to diminish annually, resulting in 50% of credits being auctioned by 2020. The setup should provide direct incentives for companies to invest in low-carbon technologies. However, some politicians are voicing their preference for all carbon credits to be complimentary for fear that the program will instead hinder businesses and increase electricity bills.

   – Read more


Long Beach longing for funds

In light of a $17.2-million deficit for the next fiscal year, Long Beach City Council recently voted in favor of studying the possibility of converting its urban forest into a carbon offset project that could feed credits into California’s developing cap-and-trade program. The city currently spends roughly $2.5 million maintaining roughly a quarter of its 393,000 trees. The project’s proponent, Councilwoman Gerrie Schispke, stated the project could alleviate some of the trees’ maintenance costs. Climate Action Reserve President Gary Gero has also encouraged this urban forest offset project, stating it may help fill “anticipated supply shortages in California’s cap-and-trade, especially in [its] second phase.” Next steps include a tree inventory to estimate the number of attainable credits.

   – Read more from Contra Costa Times
   – Read more from Reuters


Global Policy Update

Carbon market sees long game in AU “link and scrap”

The Australian government has announced plans to link Australia’s Carbon Price Mechanism (CPM) with the EU ETS beginning July 1, 2015. The partial link will allow Australian businesses to buy carbon credits traded under the EU ETS, with plans to structure a two-way link between the Australian and EU schemes to start July 1, 2018. In conjunction, the Australian government will scrap its planned A$15/tCO2e carbon price floor.


In the long run, Australia’s move to link its ETS with the EU ETS in 2015 and scrap its price floor could usher in a liquid international carbon market. The short term is more nebulous, despite provisions to bolster demand for the domestic Carbon Farming Initiative. Can the new policy sufficiently navigate carbon price risk and political uncertainty? An EM article provides a breakdown of the Australian government’s decision and its potential implications for domestic project development through the CFI, Australia’s main outlet for domestic AFOLU carbon offset project development.  

   – Read EM exclusive


Featured Jobs

Carbon Sourcing Associate – The CarbonNeutral Company

Based in London, the associate will be responsible for carbon project screening and due diligence, preparing project descriptions and collateral with the marketing team, evaluating project methodologies, tracking project deliveries, and liaising with the sales team to identify carbon requirements. Candidates should have a BS in engineering or environmental science (Master’s preferred), with prior experience working with carbon standards through origin, screening, PDD writing, and audit.

   – Read more about the position here


Various Positions – Impact Carbon


Impact Carbon is looking to hire a  Project Manager,  Impact Fellow  (Safe Water Uganda), and  Associate  for its main office based in San Francisco, as well as a  Sales Manager,  Water Implementation Manager, and  Business Development Associate, for its satellite office in Kampala, Uganda.




Associate – Climate Action Reserve

Based in Los Angeles, the associate will be responsible for maintaining, implementing, and updating existing protocols and assisting in the development of new project protocols. Candidates should have a BA/BS in natural/environmental science, engineering, public policy, economics, or related field, with 1-2 years’ work/internship experience, and experience in GHG emissions measurement and verification.

   – Read more about the position here


Senior Program Officer – VCS


Based in Washington, DC, the officer will oversee validation/verification bodies working under the VCS Program. Candidates should have a Bachelor’s at minimum, and 5+ years’ work experience in carbon markets, preferably for or with VVBs or similar entities under other GHG programs, and in particular the CDM.


   – Read more about the position here


Research Assistant, GHG Protocol – WRI


Based in Beijing, the RA will work on the GHG Protocol, a part of the GHG Protocol City Accounting Project, involving city-level GHG inventories in China. Candidates should have a Master’s in engineering, environmental sciences, energy, math, physics, or related fields, 1-2 years’ experience in GHG accounting, and fluency in Chinese and English.


   – Read more about the position here


Program Officer, Andes-Amazon Initiative – Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation


The officer will lead strategy development and grant-making on policy and financial mechanisms to address drivers of deforestation the Amazon, including agricultural commodities. Candidates should have a Master’s, PhD, or equivalent experience in a relevant field, with 5-7 years’ experience in sustainable development and conservation in the Andes-Amazon.


   – Read more about the position here


Part-Time Intern – Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Based in Washington, DC, the intern will provide research and writing support on policy and program development and initiatives, particularly on health, gender, environment, standards and testing, and monitoring and evaluation. Candidates should have a Bachelor’s in public health, engineering, economics, or related field, with minimum intern work experience in household energy, public health, gender, livelihoods creation, environmental science, and/or international affairs.

   – Read more about the position here


Climate & Energy Senior Lawyer or Lawyer – ClientEarth

Based in London, the lawyer will scope and develop a strategic programme of work within the framework of the overall Climate & Energy programme, coordinate work across the Climate & Energy team, and research and produce briefings and submissions. Candidates should have a law degree with 4+ years’ relevant work experience.

   – Read more about the position here


Carbon Research Analyst – Environmental Investment Organization


Based in London or to work independently from home, the analyst will help collect GHG emissions data from global companies, analyze the information, draw conclusions and categorize it accordingly. Candidates should have a relevant degree. Previous research experience is desirable, but not necessary.


   – Read more about the position here


California Media Director, Marketing & Communications – EDF

Based in San Francisco, the director would be the principal liaison with the media and public to promote and advance the work of EDF’s California Climate Initiative. Candidates should have 5+ years’ media experience, preferably in a political or issue advocacy context, with a track record of producing national and regional media coverage.

   – Read more about the position here


GHG & Terrestrial Carbon Dynamics Team Leader – James Hutton Institute

Based in Aberdeen, Scotland, the team leader will have oversight of existing work, help develop a strategic view of future GHG and carbon dynamic work at the Institute, and serve as coordinator for the Institute’s work within the Centre of Expertise on Climate Change. Candidates should have a PhD with relevant track record in publications/grant applications, along with project management skills.

   – Read more about the position here





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