Australia topped the news last week with the repeal of its carbon tax, South Korean ministers called for a delay in its carbon price, and New Zealand is considering shelving its program later this year. But voluntary buyers aren’t taking a vacation this summer with announcements from Chevrolet, Disney, and others.
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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!
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