This week, carbon market players will converge on Washington for IETA’s Carbon Forum North America, where the big questions for panelists will pertain to California’s emerging carbon market and EPA regulations – and also their impact on the voluntary carbon market’s pre-compliance activity.
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14 March 2011 | This week, carbon market players will converge on Washington for IETA’s
But even as conference-goers prepare to grapple with the wonkier, compliance side of carbon policy (think “best available control technologies” or reconciling offset and REC policies in California), the “purely voluntary” side of the voluntary carbon market has recently birthed a number of exciting developments in the last two weeks.
News in this issue demonstrates that the voluntary carbon market – which began as a marketplace for buyers to voluntarily offset their carbon usage – is still pursuing its original mandate to channel finance into market and project innovations.
Take for instance the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association’s recent proposal of a platform to trade a commoditized biomethane carbon-credit product, the
Or Carbon Trade Exchange’s late-2010 deals with American Carbon Registry (ACR) and the Gold Standard that are now pushing the voluntary third-party standards’ credits onto its global spot trading platform.
See also this week the
Mary Grady, director of marketing for American Carbon Registry (ACR) observes, “We’re still seeing the voluntary market really pick up pace, innovating all kinds of new ways for emissions reductions to occur.”
ACR is one of a handful of voluntary third-party standards, however, with methodologies that market observers anticipate could soon be tapped to inform “compliance-grade” protocols for the California scheme.
Incentives are high for this kind of recognition from regulators, as Grady points out. “Recognition would mean a lot for the groups we’ve been working with to develop our protocols and methodologies – suddenly there would be a different value in the market for the work they’re doing.”
Prices for California pre-compliance credits under the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) are currently comparable those seen for some of the more charismatic “purely voluntary” credits like Gold Standard (think $7-$11 for CA-eligible CAR credits).
Given this, it’s no wonder that even as the purely voluntary market continues to expand its offerings, some
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