Carbon Offsets Daily

Daily carbon offset news, insight, community.

Offsetting Carbon for Beijing Olympics and 2010 Soccer World Cup

Environmental awareness is not just limited to businesses
nowadays. Organizers of large-scale events like the Olympics and the World Cup
are also trying to make
these events carbon neutral
. Environment is the 3rd focal point of the International Olympic Committee,
after culture and sport.

Organizers of this years Olympics are calling the event

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G8 Plans to Invest Billions in CO2 Reduction Technology

The G8 countries are planning to undertake investments worth $10 billion
a year
to promote development of CO2 reducing technologies, including
carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS). As the name suggests, CCS
technology is geared towards capturing carbon emissions from sources such as power
plants and storing it, thereby controlling global warming by cutting
down on the emissions that are released into the atmosphere. The multi billion dollar investment will aid in the attainment of the global target of halving greenhouse emissions by 2050.

The G8 countries are also likely to bring up the matter of establishing national medium-term emission reduction targets for 2020-2030, at this year’s G8 summit in Hokkaido. The success of the summit to a great extent will depend on the United States and whether it agrees to participate in the efforts to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2050.

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Cincinnati Gives Go Ahead on Emission Reduction Plan

Cincinnati has announced a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% by 2012, a plan that is outlined in the Green Cincinnati Action Plan. Cincinnati is currently rated third in the nation for most greenhouse gas emissions, and is ready to reduce its carbon footprint. The plan includes 80 suggestions, for both the city and its citizens.

The city joins other cities in the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Mayors Climate Protection Plan.
Over 700 mayors have signed the mayor’s plan, which has a target of reducing
emissions to a level similar to those outlined by the Kyoto Protocol.

To address resident’s emissions, the Climate Steering Protection Committee endorses small changes, such
as using compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of other types. Other
cities, like Chicago, have handed out compact fluorescent light bulbs
to residents for free, in hopes of reducing carbon emissions.

In regards to residents buying carbon offsets, the Green Cincinnati Action plan makes the argument that local environmental projects should benefit rather than national or international projects. Local environmental projects are to be run by the City of Cincinnati Carbon Offset Commission.


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California Ready to Begin Emissions Reduction Plan

California is set to begin a new emissions reduction plan that is based on a cap-and-trade system. The Climate Change Draft Scoping Plan is preparing to use renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, to replace up to one-third of Californias energy needs. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85%, by the year 2020. The carbon market in California is estimated to reach $10 billion by the year 2015.

The plan is part of a proposal, the Western Climate Initiative, to join seven American states and three provinces in Canada in a joint carbon market. Other states include Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Washington, Utah and Oregon.

The Climate Draft change Scoping Plan calls for the use of offsets that are

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Making the UAE Construction Industry Carbon Neutral

Dubai is
witnessing its second green conference, arranged by the American University
in Dubai
(AUD) and Sesam
Business Consultants
to raise awareness amongst local businesses about
global warming and carbon neutrality, especially
targeting the construction sector.

The conference is also a major event because it practically
demonstrates the concept
of carbon neutrality
to UAE firms by offsetting carbon emissions generated
from the conference event. The AUD also accounted for carbon emissions resulting
from transportation of delegates and from catering vehicles, to make the whole
demonstration a perfect case study for others.

Amongst the participants of the conference are many
architects, real estate consultants and other professionals belonging to the
construction industry. The conference specifically aims at introducing a green building trend within the
UAE construction industry.

At this moment, Dr. Linda Nubani
of the AUD
said,

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Increasing Productivity per Unit of Carbon Released

In order to maintain a strong global economy while tackling
global warming
, it is essential to get a ten-fold boost in output per unit
of carbon released, mentioned a recent
report released today
. This report, to be presented at a top-level meeting
of lawmakers in Tokyo, has been
made by several economists who work for McKinsey
Global Institute
, an international think tank.

To be specific, the report says that GDP should increase
from the present $740/ton of GHG emissions to $7,300/ton by mid-century. Unless
we figure out some way to boost productivity to this level, it would be
necessary for individuals to make sacrifices in order to restrict themselves to
the target of 6 kg of GHG emissions per person daily.

Besides the sacrifices, this would also negatively affect
the lifestyles in developed economies and would resist economic development in
other nations. Germany, France, Italy
and Britain are
set to reduce carbon emissions regardless of what others do, whereas the United States, not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, does not
wish to make any emissions-reduction
commitments
.

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EU Legislation To Cap Airline Emissions

The European Union has passed legislation to cap airline emissions, beginning in 2012. The system would affect all airlines that land or take off in Europe, who will have to buy 15% of their permits in auctions. The legislation has been met with some criticism, as airlines are already suffering due to higher fuel costs.

The estimated cost of the new plan is 4.8 billion Euros, a number that, when compared with the airlines 3.7 billion profit, seems unreasonable to airlines. Many are expecting European airports to suffer from the legislation, since international planes will now re-route to non-European airports.

The legislations also includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the business sector, using a cap-and-trade system. The planned cuts are 3% in the first year, and 5% in the second year onward. Airlines account for 3% of the worlds greenhouse gas emissions, but with airline traffic expected to double by 2020, lawmakers are determined to cut their emissions now.

There are already many airlines that offer carbon offsets to passengers. Will this increase the use of offsets to help reduce the impact on revenues?

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Interview: Carbonfund.org on How to Choose a Carbon Offset Partner

Carbon Offsets Daily: How should a company choose a carbon offset partner?

Carbonfund.org: Companies should choose an offset partner that aligns with
their strategic goals.  Ive found that their goals are often twofold. The
first goal is credibility: companies want to address their responsibility for
climate change by offsetting their carbon footprint, not by tossing their money
away.  The second goal is to get the message out about their environmental
leadership, which helps them distinguish themselves from their competitors and
craft a compelling story about their business.

Carbonfund.orgs business programs focus on addressing those
needs. Theres no way to get credibility without supporting real projects that
are third-party verified to high-quality certification standardswhich all Carbonfund.orgs
projects are. We explain the sometimes confusing certification and
verification process so partners can judge for themselves. Sometimes partners
visit the projects with us to see the results of their donations firsthand, and
weve put footage from visits to a number of our projects up on our Youtube page. Our nonprofit status also boosts our credibility: were
mission-driven, which means were out to solve climate change, not profit from
it.

We have several ways to help companies get the message out
about their environmental leadership. Our CarbonFree Partnerships Program
offers press releases and tips on speaking with the media, and our blog and
newsletter spread the word. Its in our best interest to help our partners get
their message out because that in turn spurs other companies to take action on
climate change. Its a beautiful cycle which we hope will ultimately result in
transformation of the entire economy toward a clean energy future.

William Bert
Communications Specialist
Carbonfund.org

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Blair Releases Plan For Global Carbon Emissions Reduction

Tony Blair has called out to the G8 nations to propose realistic solutions for global warming. Blairs report Breaking the Climate Deadlock, is intended to provide those practical solutions. The report is a plan that outlines 10 building blocks for cutting global carbon emissions. Blair plans on introducing the proposal at the G8 meeting in 2009. Blair is hoping that by outlining the plan at the G8 meeting . the G8 countries will be ready to

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ACCC Publishes Guidelines to Tackle Fake Carbon Offsets

The Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission
(ACCC) has decided to tackle the
problem of fake carbon offsetting schemes, mentioning that the carbon offset
market is escalating as people get conscious about neutralizing their carbon
footprints. As for now, the ACCC has released a comprehensive guide to help
consumers and organizations learn about carbon offsets.

In the carbon offsetting industry, a large number of
businesses are making false claims and boost
their offsetting programs
, said ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel. "The difficulties in understanding and verifying carbon
claims give rise to concerns that consumers may be facing misleading and
deceptive conduct associated with this emerging market."

He further added that it is the duty of ACCC to educate
people about the rights that offset buyers have and the matters where consumers
are responsible. Kate Norris of Choice,
a consumer advocacy organization, appreciated the efforts but stressed that the
government needs to set some minimum
criteria for offsets
.

The guide released by the ACCC, named Carbon Claims
and the Trade Practices Act
, is available on its website.

 

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Global Warming Could Lead to Terrorism: Intelligence Report

Global warming and terrorism are arguably two of the biggest threats
confronting the world today. While most would see the two as similar
with regard to their debilitating potential for engendering wide-scale
destruction, only a few would would go beyond that. However, global
warming and terrorism might be more closely related than you think.

According to an intelligence report, global warming may actually fuel
terrorism.
  Thomas Fingar – the deputy director of national intelligence
for analysis, pointed out to a congressional panel that climate change induced environmental
destruction causes poverty, social tensions and unstable governments and it
is a well established fact that these conditions in turn, contribute to
the growth of terrorism. This causal link led the intelligence report to suggest
that global warming "could increase the pool of potential (terrorist)
recruits" and thus act as a precipitating factor to terrorism.

The report was met with mixed reactions. While the Democrats
endorsed it, the Republicans were of the opinion that the undue focus on
climate change came at the cost of ignoring "real threats" such as
increasing energy prices and economic security.

But if the link between the two be a legitimate one, it gives us
yet another reason to take serious action to combat global warming.

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WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY AND GOVERNMENT OF MADAGASCAR AGREE TO SAVE PRISTINE FOREST THROUGH MASSIVE CARBON SALE

More than nine million tons to be sold to protect forest and combat climate change

NEW YORK (JUNE 11, 2008)

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Mauritius to Invest in Renewable Energy through CDM Credits

Mauritius is all set to join the United Nation’s Clean Development
Mechanism with the sale of carbon credits that will promote the use of
renewable energy. The
CDM permits the industrialized nations to exceed their carbon quota
through purchase of credits from clean projects in developing
countries, thereby reducing emissions and facilitating the use of eco-friendly
technology. A single CDM credit translates to one ton of CO2 reduction.

As of now, there are 4-5 projects in the works. One of the projects waiting for CDM approval, produces electricity using a renewable source i.e. bagasse – a sugarcane residue and is likely to create 200,000
tonnes of carbon credits a year. Currently in Mauritius, 19 per cent of the electricity is generated using sugarcane and its aim is to increase it to 33 per cent by 2015, which will displace 300,000 tons of coal per year and bring about a significant reduction in the carbon emissions. Mauritius is also considering other sources of energy production such as hydro power, wind farms, landfill gas and solar energy.

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Eco Trading Cards

Coming Soon

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Carbon Neutral Honeymoons

The New York Times recently ran a carbon neutral honeymoon story.

A coupled worked with Elevate Destinations,"a philanthropic travel company based in Cambridge, Mass., that
organizes luxury trips to locations with sustainable practices in
place," to plan an eco-friendly honeymoon.

Soon-to-be’s can’t register for carbon offsets at Crate & Barrel yet, but they can at Carbon Footprint to offset emissions from wedding and honeymoon flights.

Other green wedding/honeymoon resources:

Eco-Chic Weddings

GreenUnion 

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California Air Resources Board Reveals New Plan to Reduce GHG Emissions

California air
regulators revealed today that a strict plan
is underway to cut GHG emissions
. This new plan is expected to boost the
national carbon-credit trading industry by changing the way business is done at
the moment. All industries and sectors would be affected by this plan, from
coal-fired power plants to methane-emitting landfills.

Like previous eco-friendly legislations by Californian
legislators, this one may also receive criticism and disapproval by the federal
government. In addition, some organizations fear that the price tag will be too
high for their industries.

Nevertheless, by and large, the advantages associated with
this plan would be more than the expenses involved, said the Air Resources Boards
chairperson Mary Nichols

According to the LA
Times
, the plan has the potential to cut down medical and other costs by $2
billion by the year 2020; in the absence of this plan, pollution in California would result in 340 premature mortalities and over 9,000 cases of asthma.

 

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Future Carbon Market Estimated At $2 Trillion

The head of the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission had predicted that carbon trading will become the number one commodity in the nation. Last year alone, over $64 billion was traded on the global carbon market. It is estimated that the carbon market will grow to become worth $2 trillion worldwide, supported by over 160 million futures contracts.

Although the US has yet to pass national legislation to regulate emissions, many are expecting that to change under the next presidency. A bill that would have passed national legislation to cap emissions was rejected in the Senate earlier this month. Chilton says that

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Cisco Announces Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Cisco announced a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% over the next four years. Cisco has companies around the world, and is planning to promote reducing emissions among the customers as well. In 2007, Cisco had a total of over eight hundred thousand metric tons of CO2 emissions. Under the new plan, the emissions will be reduced to five hundred thousand metric tons.

The plan is to utilize technology, including networking technology, to meet sustainability goals by the year 2012. Cisco plans to upgrade existing equipment to become more power efficient, and plans to store information in a

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EU Seeks to Curb Airline Emissions

EU is leaving no stone unturned it seems, when it comes to cutting down the aviation industry’s carbon emissions. The European Commission has come up with a plan to reduce the current twenty seven airspaces to just nine. According to European Transport Minister Antonio Tajani, the current flight paths are "ridiculous" and that on an average aircrafts cover thirty miles over and above what is necessary. The move will rein in fuel costs, emissions and help maintain safety in the face of increasing air traffic.

The EU is also hoping to pull in the aviation industry under its cap-and-trade scheme. Earlier this month, Ambassador John Bruton sought United States’ cooperation in the matter as "Two-thirds of EU aviation emissions come from intercontinental
flights". The aviation industry is currently responsible for three per cent of the global greenhouse gas emissions and are likely to reach 1.5 billion tons a year by
2025. In addition, airline emissions have a much greater effect on the climate as compared to ground level emissions.

However, IATA is strongly opposed to EU’s aviation cap-and-trade scheme. Talks are in progress with the US Presidential Candidates to resolve the matter.

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Carbon Credit Ratings Scheme for Project-Based Carbon Offsets

Carbon Ratings Agency (CRA), a subsidiary of IDEAcarbon, has initiated an autonomous
carbon credit ratings scheme at the LSE. This step is likely to
regulate carbon as an article of trade and will result in a new group of
assets. Investors would be able to compare the assets rated under this scheme
with each other.

There will be several criteria on which the rating would be
based. An evaluation would be carried out to measure the probability of achieving emissions reductions in the given time. The socioeconomic
advantages associated with the project would be considered too. CRA has already
rated
a sample of 25 CDM projects
so far.

As carbon trading flourishes and the market expands, it is
likely that more firms will seek project-based evaluations. These firms will
need transparent and unprejudiced assessment of risks, which is what the CRA intends
to do. It must be noted that Carbon Ratings Agency is not into carbon trading
itself.

IDEAcarbon reports that project-based
carbon offsets
would make up around

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Interview: ClearSky Climate Solutions 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?

ClearSky Climate Solutions: We at ClearSky Climate
Solutions are of the opinion that the US will support both voluntary and regulatory
markets simultaneously for some time to come. 

While there are very
encouraging signs that both of the presumptive presidential candidates have
expressed support for a compliance market for Greenhouse Gases, it is clear
that any significant legislation will have challenges clearing the Senate as it
is currently composed. That said, current regional, state and city initiatives in
conjunction with better climate change education and outreach have combined to
generate enough public awareness that climate change legislation is
consistently presented and will eventually pass.  Even if a voluntary
market were quickly created in the US, it is almost certain not to capture vast
sections of the greater economy.  A cap-and-trade system will most likely
not apply to individual consumers, small businesses or businesses that generate
indirect emissions.  That leaves the voluntary market a sizeable population.
 

If the voluntary market is
going to continue to expand it needs to become a market where buyers have
confidence that the credits they purchase are indeed what they claim to
be.  We believe that the proliferation of certification standards for the voluntary
market, while a bit unwieldy at the moment, is a positive step.  With a
little more maturity, the voluntary market will converge upon a couple of certification
standards and the products brought to market will become more
standardized.  It is of vital importance to retain consumer confidence, with
well-developed standards, transparency and an open governance processes.  The
potential for the voluntary market is larger than the regulatory market, but
the relative price volatility may limit initial investments.  That said,
if the voluntary and/or regulatory markets are going to help the environment as
we believe is possible, there is a rapid need for significant expansion.
Currently, the sum of all greenhouse gas markets is not enough to stabilize
atmospheric chemistry. 

While, businesses and individuals are interested in continuing to support
carbon credit projects that offer additional environmental and social benefits it
is vitally important to catalyze a process to change lifestyles.  To
promote activities that reduce our carbon emissions and encourage us to consume
less.  Whether this is done through economic incentives such as carbon
taxes, or stimulated through educational campaigns or pop culture, these should
be in the forefront of our efforts as a nation.

Keegan Eisenstadt
CEO
ClearSky Climate Solutions

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Price of UN’s Carbon Credits to Increase

A report released today by Point Carbon indicates that new CDM rules
will crank up prices of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). In the
past, the UN has come under fire time and again for not having a
stringent mechanism in place to weed out projects that

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New Carbon Tax Proposed For U.S. Amid Skepticism

In a congressional briefing, scientist Dr. James Hansen proposed a new carbon tax for U.S citizens. Hansen says a carbon tax would work to reduce carbon emissions because

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BeGreen Launches First-of-its-Kind Business LEED Calculator

BeGreen Launches First-of-Its-Kind Calculator to Help
Businesses Achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED

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Interview: Greenfleet 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?

Greenfleet: Australias mandatory emissions trading scheme is expected to commence in 2010.  Very soon!  Reports to date suggest that there will be at least 70% sector coverage including transport and stationary energy production.  It is likely that forestry, agriculture and waste will be included in the AETS within a couple of years.

The scheme proposal is currently focusing on the Australian Government auctioning permits (rather than allowing offsets).  This means that the mandatory market will reward reductions in emissions by avoiding permit costs at the source (ie. power generator, fuel producer) which is a purely market based mechanism that doesnt rely on regulated reductions in emissions.

The costs of the permits will depend on the number of permits issued and the relative demand (ie. if bigger reductions are achieved this will likely reduce demand for permits and thus their price).  Will this approach change consumer behavior?  We recognize that the embedded cost of a carbon permit is less likely to have an impact on consumer behavior than the skyrocketing cost of oil.  It will no doubt provide a signal to power generators that there is an embedded cost of carbon in the mainly coal generated power (Australian) that they produce. Separating the energy cost versus the carbon cost may be difficult under the scheme proposals we’ve seen to date.

At this stage the mandatory AETS does not provide incentives for net sink activities or downstream efficiency savings by consumers and we expect that a voluntary market will continue alongside the mandatory scheme to address these needs.

Most Greenfleet supporters are doing more than just reducing emissions to meet a Kyoto or other Government target.  Individuals and organizations support Greenfleet so real actions are being taken to reduce the impact of the emissions that they generate

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