Carbon Offsets Daily

Daily carbon offset news, insight, community.

Interview: Bonneville Environmental Foundation on the Voluntary Carbon Market

Carbon Offsets Daily : When do you think the domestic voluntary carbon market will become a compliance market and how will that change affect the environment?

Bonneville Environmental Foundation:  If carbon regulatory systems are properly designed, there should be viable markets driven by both compliance and voluntary demand for carbon emission reductions.  One cannot substitute for the other.

This is a critical policy issue that is often overlooked by policy advocates in discussing carbon regulation.  It is very important that any regulatory program protect the ability of individuals and companies to make choices about where their energy comes from, independent of government regulation.

The precise time when these compliance markets will emerge depends largely on geography.  The Northeast states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) are moving fastest, with a cap-and-trade program for the electric utility sector taking effect in 2009.  (California, and perhaps other western states, will follow with carbon regulatory systems taking shape over the next four years.)

Importantly, the RGGI model rule provides an allowance set-aside for voluntary renewable energy purchases. A majority of RGGI states have adopted this provision, helping to protect the freedom of energy choice that the voluntary renewable energy market provides.

However, the current federal cap-and-trade proposals do not offer these protections, jeopardizing the ability for individuals and companies to choose renewable energy as a core solution to global climate change. This oversight in the federal proposals can be easily resolved with the addition of provisions to ensure that our choices for renewable energy continue to drive down global warming pollution.

Bill Eddie
Director, Green Tags Procurement
Bonneville Environmental Foundation
http://www.b-e-f.org/
www.GreenTagsUSA.org

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Interview: Eco-Libris on the Voluntary Carbon Market

Carbon Offsets Daily : When do you think the domestic voluntary carbon
market will become a compliance market and how will that change affect the
environment?

Eco-Libris :
Hopefully, the voluntary market will become a compliance market after
the presidential elections, but it is very hard to tell. It is clear
that all candidates understand the need for a change in the US climate
change policy. The extent of the impact this might have will depend on
how smart the system will be, and to what extent the lessons from the
creation of the European market will be learned. To begin with, I
believe that for such market to succeed, we can’t give emission permits
for free. We also need to tighten our control and monitoring systems.
All in all I believe that although carbon trading is an important part
of the solution, reducing our carbon emission by consuming less and
using measures such as carbon taxes should be first on our "to do" list.

Eylon Israely
Eco-Libris
http://www.ecolibris.net/
http://ecolibris.blogspot.com/
"Plant a Tree for Every Book you Read"

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Interview: Carbonfund.org on the Voluntary Carbon Market

Carbon Offsets Daily : When do you think the domestic voluntary carbon
market will become a compliance market and how will that change affect the
environment?

Carbonfund.org : A compliance market will probably be in place within three
years, but as far as Im concerned it cant happen quickly enough.  Both
presumptive presidential candidates have expressed support for one, and I think
congress finally has enough awareness of the issue that legislation to create
one has a realistic chance of passingthough if this past week is any
indication, Republicans will do their best to hold it up, or at least water it
down.   

A compliance market is unlikely to replace the domestic voluntary market,
since it will only affect carbon-intensive industries: power utilities,
refineries, factories, etc.  Even in Europe, which is years ahead of the
U.S. in regulating carbon, the carbon market for individuals and
non-carbon-intensive businesses (like Carbonfund.orgs
700 partners
) is still voluntary.  Though a committee of the
British Parliament recently recommended a national system of personal carbon credits,
I think the challenges to implementing such a system are formidable, and its
even less likely to happen in the U.S. than the U.K.

The effect of a compliance market will be to raise the price of carbon for
everyone, since there will be increased demand for credits from offset
projects.  This is a win for the environment.  Putting a price on
carbon will force businesses to reduce their carbon emissions through greater
efficiency and through buying carbon credits, that is, supporting renewable
energy and reforestation.

William Bert
Communications Specialist

Carbonfund.org

 

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Interview: TerraPass on the Voluntary Carbon Market

Carbon Offsets Daily: When do you think the domestic voluntary carbon market will become a compliance market and how will that change affect the environment?

Terrapass: I think the voluntary market will continue to grow when a compliance market is established, because any compliance market is unlikely to cover all aspects of the economy. It’s highly likely that a cap and trade system will not apply to small businesses, for example, and almost certain that it won’t apply to consumers.

Our opinion is that voluntary and compliance markets will exist side by side for the foreseeable future.

Erik Blachford
CEO
TerraPass

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Interview: The CarbonNeutral Company on the Voluntary Carbon Market

Carbon Offsets Daily: When do you think the domestic voluntary carbon market will become a
compliance market and how will that change affect the environment?

The CarbonNeutral Company: We think that the voluntary market will continue to thrive and flourish
as a necessary complement to the regulated market.  We cannot see how
developed and developing economies will be able to track a
stabilization curve for global greenhouse gas emissions without a
vibrant voluntary market to fill the gap between regulated reductions
and those required for a stabilized climate. 

That said, it is for the voluntary market to rise to this considerable
challenge.  That means that we need to see voluntary action move from
tens of millions to gigatonnes of offsets per year, if this solution is
to play its rightful role.  The voluntary market will need new
governance structures to ensure that it is able to step up to this
scale of activity.  We believe the industry needs to be accountable to
the highest standards through well-developed self-governance processes
which are open and transparent. The standards for offsets used in
voluntary programmes is also an important area, and we expect that
regulated carbon credits (such as CERs created under Kyoto’s Clean
Development Mechanism,
and other national and state equivalents) and
those created under credible standards such as the Voluntary Carbon
Standard and the Gold Standard will dominate voluntary programmes.

With sound governance, credible offset instruments, and businesses and
consumers ready to play their part in material and urgent GHG
reductions, we see a substantial role for the voluntary market for
decades to come.

Sharon Corrigan
PR Manager

The CarbonNeutral Company

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