This article was originally posted in the V-Carbon newsletter. Click here to read the original.
25 July 2014 | Is New Zealand next? Australia disappointed carbon market advocates last week when its national legislature voted to scrap the country’s carbon tax and planned emissions trading system (ETS). The AU$23 carbon tax incentivized significant pre-compliance offset purchases in 2012. Ecosystem Marketplace’s State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2013 report accounted for five million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in offset transactions that did not see a repeat in this year’s report. Australia’s offset market will likely be replaced with an “Emissions Reduction Fund,” which would serve as a reverse auction for the government to buy from competing sellers.
Having already opted out of the Kyoto Protocol’s second phase, New Zealand is contemplating going the way of its Oceania neighbor and abolishing its ETS. The future of the NZ market rests with a general election in September. If the ruling National Party retains the power to form a government, then no change to the system is expected. The speculation has pressured prices on the NZ ETS over the last month.
However, there is life after Kyoto as Japan’s J-Credit System shows. The system combines the two prior offset standards: the Japan Domestic Clean Development Mechanism program that offered local certification of businesses’ emissions reductions, and Japan’s Verified Emissions Reduction System, which verified domestic project offsets. Ecosystem Marketplace’s Kelley Hamrick spoke with Noriko Hase from the Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center about the improvements made by streamlining the two programs into one all-inclusive standard in 2013 and the potential effect on demand for voluntary offsets in the country.
These and other stories from the voluntary carbon marketplace are summarized below, so keep reading!
For the fifth year running, Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace is collecting data about forest carbon projects around the world to include in our State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2014 report. This is the only market-wide, freely available research tracking performance-based payments for emissions reductions in forests, and we rely on a global survey to ensure that our data is representative.
Help us spread the word!
Our survey for forest carbon project developers is available in English HERE and in Spanish HERE.
Every year, Ecosystem Marketplace relies wholly on offset market participants to financially support the State of research. In return, sponsors ($7.5k+) and supporters ($3k) benefit from the report’s growing exposure, early insight into our findings, and opportunities to engage directly with Ecosystem Marketplace in report-related outreach and events. Interested organizations should contact Molly Peters-Stanley.
For comments or questions, please email: [email protected]
Offsets for everyone
The United Nations (UN) Climate Change Secretariat recently launched a campaign to allow everyone to purchase certified emission reductions (CERs) to increase demand for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) offsets. The secretariat’s staff and their families are the first eligible to offset their personal greenhouse gas emissions with CERs, via a fund that provides dedicated financing to projects building climate resilience in 40 countries. Local governments and other individuals will be allowed to participate in the future. CERs are produced by projects in developing countries registered under the UN’s CDM offset program, which has struggled with declining demand and low pricing in recent years. Read more here
Like a rock
Chevrolet will purchase 100,000 tonnes of carbon offsets generated by voluntarily implementing nitrous oxide abatement technologies at a CF Industries Holdings nitrogen manufacturing facility in Mississippi. The Terra Yazoo City #9 project is listed with the Climate Action Reserve under its Nitric Acid Production Project Protocol and the deal was brokered by ClimeCo. Chevrolet will retire the offsets as part of its Carbon Reduction Initiative, which features a goal of reducing eight million tCO2e. CF Industries will donate the net proceeds of $600,000 to the National FFA Foundation to support excellence in farmer education and fertilizer best management practices. Read more here
Bambi would be proud
The Walt Disney Company struck a deal with the Bethlehem Authority to buy forest carbon offsets from a nearly 20,000-acre project in Pennsylvania. The 4-year deal will bring in $140,000 to $170,000 annually, which the Bethlehem Authority will use to improve its aging water system and protect the forested watershed of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. The project is developed by Blue Source under a Verified Carbon Standard methodology and registered with Markit. It will generate just under 25,000 tCO2e in annual estimated emission reductions. Disney is one of the largest purchasers of offsets in the voluntary carbon markets, retiring 457,882 tCO2e in 2013 and 433,677 tCO2e in 2012, according to company data.
Read more here
Dialing down emissions
The Mobile World Congress 2014 has been certified carbon neutral by the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification, AENOR. The annual conference in Barcelona, Spain offset approximately 165,000 tCO2e with the assistance of project developer Factor CO2. Conference organizer GSMA purchased CDM offsets from the Dongliuxi Erji Hydropower project in the Hubei province of China, bundled wind power projects in the Indian state of Rajasthan, and the Olkaria II Geothermal Expansion Project in Kenya. Read the press release
More from AENOR
The final score
Sixteen companies donated 545,500 CERs in response to Brazil’s “Low Carbon World Cup Initiative”. The Brazilian government offered publicity in official documents in exchange for CERs based in Brazil. The program’s goal was to offset the 1.4 million tCO2e associated with the event’s stadium construction, local transportation, and fossil fuel electricity consumption. The top donor was Tractebel Energia a division of French utility GDF Suez with 105,000 CERs, followed by chemical manufacturer Solvay Rhodia with 100,000 CERs. Read more here
Scaling the mountains
The Appalachian Mountain Club has sold over 100,000 offsets from its Katahdin Iron Works conservation property in Maine to The Climate Trust, which is using the offsets to fulfill its obligations under an initiative to address carbon emissions from fossil fuel plants in Massachusetts. The offsets were verified under the Climate Action Reserves Forest Project Protocol. Proceeds from the sale will benefit projects such as the Maine Woods Initiative, a strategy for land conservation in the 100-Mile Wilderness region. The strategy addresses regional ecological and economic needs through outdoor recreation, resource protection, sustainable forestry, and community partnerships. Read the press release
Going above and beyond
The Norwegian Carbon Procurement Facility (NorCaP) has closed its first call for proposals and is expected to purchase 21 million CERs at an above-market average value of nearly $3.1 each. The principal objective of NorCaP is to prevent the reversal of emission reduction activities by obtaining offsets from projects whose survival or continued emission reductions depend on a higher carbon price than achievable under current market conditions. The offsets will be purchased from 13 different projects and used to help meet the country’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. A second call for proposals is anticipated in September 2014. Read more here
Out of Africa
Vitol, Bunge and Shell Trading have purchased over 3.5 million CERs from African carbon offsets developer Ecosur Afrique. The companies will buy around 510,000 CERs annually for at least the next seven years, with closing prices determined at the time of delivery to the final customers. The offsets will be sourced from five clean energy projects: four in Burundi and one in Uganda. Read more here
Backed by the Crown
The British High Commission in South Africa awarded Johannesburg-based Promethium Carbon a grant to help prepare local companies for the country’s forthcoming carbon tax, which is expected to start at $11.2/tCO2e in 2016. The program includes the option to utilize offsets for compliance with the tax and Promethium will use the grant to start a pilot trading market for carbon offsets on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange next year. Promethium estimates the initial prices for South African offsets in the range of $7.5-$9.4 per tonne. The value of the grant was not disclosed. Read more here
Give me just a little more time
South Korean Ministries will move to delay the country’s ETS scheduled to start in January 2015. Officials will take an unspecified time to recalculate the “business as usual levels to ease pressure on industry. The ETS has been opposed by business groups such as the Federation of Korean Industries. The matter now goes before the National Assembly where the likelihood of passing revised legislation is uncertain. Read more here
Science & Technology
Don’t let the carbon escape
Construction has started on the first commercial-scale post-combustion carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the United States. The Petra Nova CCS and enhanced oil recovery project is being developed via a partnership between NRG Energy, JX Nippon and the Department of Energy, which contributed $167 million. The project is located at a NRG Energy coal-fired power plant in Texas and aims to capture 1.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. The CO2 will be pumped through an 80-mile pipeline to the West Ranch Oil Field and injected into the ground to boost oil production and store the power plant’s carbon. Read more here
Climate Policy Associate – The Climate Reality Project
Based in Washington, DC, the Climate Policy Associate will be responsible for tracking, analyzing and evaluating international and US climate policy and politics for the Science and Solutions Team. Ideal candidates will have a master’s degree plus two to three years of work experience in climate policy, with a particular emphasis on international climate policy and familiarity with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process. Read more here
Climate and Air Legislative Affairs Manager – Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Based in Washington, DC, the Climate and Air Legislative Affairs Manager will serve as point person in identifying, developing, and overseeing execution of legislative strategies to advance EDF’s climate and air priorities. Successful candidates should have an advanced degree and at least seven years of policy experience, including experience working with senior Congressional and Administration officials, and coalitions of national-level interest groups and associations. Read more here
REDD+ Team Leader – Österreichische Bundesforste
Based in Pakse, Laos, the REDD+ Team Leader will be responsible for implementation of a REDD+ project in Xe Pian National Protected Area and its buffer zone. Preferred candidates will have an advanced degree in forestry with a minimum of five years of relevant work experience. Ideal language skills include English, German and Lao.
– Read more here
Practice Area Team Leader, Climate Change Adaptation – Engility
Based in Alexandria, Virginia, the Climate Change Adaptation Team Leader will head the organization’s business development and ongoing US Agency for International Development (USAID) programs in climate change adaptation, resilience, urban infrastructure, and environmental services. Ideal candidates will have a master’s degree in an area relating to climate change, urban development, or environmental issues with 10 years of relevant experience. Previous USAID experience is required.
– Read more here
Senior Advisor Climate Adaptation & Disaster Risk Reduction – Deltares
Based in Delft, Netherlands, the Senior Advisor will conduct international research studies and implement projects on the adaptation of water management to climate change, flood risk management and disaster risk reduction. Successful candidates will have an advanced degree in hydrology, civil engineering, physical geography, or similar field of study with 10 years of international experience in water management. Fluency in English is required and knowledge of French, Spanish or Portuguese is preferred.
– Read more here
||ABOUT THE ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACEEcosystem Marketplace is a project of Forest Trends, a tax-exempt corporation under Section 501(c)3. This newsletter and other dimensions of our voluntary carbon markets program are funded by a series of international development agencies, philanthropic foundations, and private sector organizations. For more information on donating to Ecosystem Marketplace, please contact [email protected].