Carbon Offsets Daily

Daily carbon offset news, insight, community.

July 31 Carbon Market News

Chinese Firm to Test Carbon-Capture Technology with Chinese, Australian Governments Assistance

China Huaneng Group, a large electricity generation firm, has initiated a pilot project in collaboration with Chinese and Australian research bodies to capture CO2 from coal-fired plants. This project will be first scheme to test the feasibility of post-combustion capture (PCC) in China, which has the worlds largest consumption of coal-fired energy.

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) states this can reduce CO2 emissions from coal plants by 85% or even more. David Brockway of CSIRO says the project has potential to capture up to 3,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum. CSIRO also mentioned a larger project may be launched after this one.

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July Carbon Market Hot Jobs, Business Opportunities

California to Slap a Lawsuit Against EPA Over Failure to Implement Carbon Regulation

The Attorney General of California, Jerry Brown announced on Wednesday that the state will sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for not taking any concrete measures to regulate the greenhouse gas emissions of ships, aircrafts and industrial equipment. These are big-time polluters that burn copious amounts of fossil fuel and yet continue to run unregulated. Brown laments:

“Because Bush’s Environmental Protection Agency continues to wantonly ignore its duty to regulate pollution, California is forced to seek judicial action”

The states of Connecticut and Oregon along with the city of New York and a few other regions and environmental groups, are likely to join California in suing EPA. Brown hopes that the judicial action against EPA will stir it into action.

This is not the first time that EPA is in trouble. Earlier this year in April, eighteen states sued EPA for not not regulating emissions from new cars and trucks. In May, EPA was sued by thirteen states for not setting stringent standards for ozone pollution as required by the Clean Air Act.

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At Least 330 Tons of Carbon Emissions to Be Offset through Investment in Green Housing Scheme

Enterprise Community Partners, a financial supporter of affordable houses for low-income families, has decided to fund green housing scheme Silver Gardens. This will be done to offset no less than 330 tons of carbon emissions under the Green Communities Offset Fund program.

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July 30 Carbon Industry Top Headlines

Air Canada Now Offers Carbon Offsets to Corporate Clients

Air Canada has teamed up with Zerofootprint to launch the Corporate Carbon Offset Program that will allow its corporate customers to completely or partially offset the emissions of their air travel.

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Interview: Everything’s Dynamic on the Soundness of Carbon Offsets to Combat Global Warming

Carbon Offsets Daily: Do you think companies should use carbon offsets to mitigate their global warming emissions?

Everything’s Dynamic: I don’t see anything wrong with a company purchasing carbon offsets in an attempt to mitigate their carbon emissions, but I don’t think that it’s a panacea to climate change situation. If purchasing carbon offsets (and advertising that fact) can increase a given company’s profits, then it should definitely do so. However, I think a more effective way to deal with a company’s carbon emissions is by reducing energy consumption and making its operations more efficient. Finally, I think the best way to mitigate global warming is not through the transfer of carbon credits in a cap-and-trade scheme, but rather by instituting a tax on sources of carbon emissions (such as coal, natural gas, petroleum products, etc.) so that non-carbon-emitting energy sources (such as wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, etc.) become more cost-competitive.

Christopher Monnier
Everything’s Dynamic

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UK: Government to Auction 85 Million Carbon Credits Starting This Year

The British government has revealed that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) would auction around 85m carbon credits (each equaling a tonne of CO2) over a 4-year period. This would eventually generate revenue of around

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Farmers, Ranchers to Receive $2.6 Million for Carbon Savings

Around 990 farmers and ranchers in North Dakota will receive a total of $2.6 million this week from a program that financially rewards farmers for using environment friendly practices. The scheme, named National Farmers Union Carbon Credit Program, accumulates all the carbon savings in the form of carbon credits sellable at the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX)

Other businesses at CCX can purchase these credits to offset their own carbon footprint. The nationwide farmers program has disbursed approximately $8.5 million to North Dakotans since it came there two years back, mentioned Robert Carlson, head of North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU).

Overall, around 2,300 farmers and ranchers coming from 20 states are participating in the scheme, which has witnessed a threefold increase in participants over the previous year. Supervisors check farmers lands on the spot to confirm sequestration is taking place. Livestock owners and cattle farmers too can benefit from the scheme by reducing methane emissions from manure. The current rate of carbon credits at the CCX is around $4 per metric ton at present.

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South Africa Considering Carbon Tax; No Time-Frame, Reductions Target Specified

South African Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk declared his country is considering implementation of carbon tax and other steps to tackle global warming, and the Treasury will prepare a report on these strategies for the cabinet. The government wants to begin with a low tax, gradually increasing it by 2020.

Although Mr. Schalkwyk did not mention any clear, measurable reduction targets, the announcement was welcomed by the SA Climate Action Network and WWF South Africa. Richard Worthington, a representative of Climate Action Network, predicts the South African government may announce exact targets and time-frames in the upcoming Copenhagen meeting in December 2009.

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Carbon Trading : A Viable Solution?

Earlier this month Australia unveiled plans to introduce a comprehensive carbon cap-and-trade scheme in 2010 that would cover 75% of its emissions. The plan has however been met with a degree of ambivalence.

Environmentalists such as Greenpeace expect that it "would result in nothing more than paper shuffling" and Brendan Nelson – the leader of the opposition is of the opinion that unless other polluters of the world take serious measures to curb their emissions, carbon trading will have grave consequences for the Australian economy. On the other hand, a recently conducted poll of 1200 people indicates a strong inclination in favor of carbon trading – eight out of ten people voted for carbon trading.

Japan, the world’s fifth largest polluter has also announced that it will begin carbon trading on a trial basis this October – "the first concrete step" towards slashing its carbon emissions, according to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. However, the plan is unlikely to get an across-the-board welcome, what with the country’s emitters viewing the scheme as an impediment to growth.

Despite its critics carbon trading seems to be gaining momentum, with more and more countries resorting to it. What are your views? Do you think carbon trading is a viable solution or should countries concentrate their resources on other means to combat global warming?

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Asian Economies Considering Launch of Carbon Exchanges

Worldwide growth of carbon trading is attracting several Asian economies to the point that Hong Kong, Beijing, Mumbai and the like are considering establishment of carbon exchanges to facilitate trade of carbon credits in their countries. As Carbon Development Mechanism has gained popularity, Asian firms now appreciate carbon as a soft commodity that has the potential of being traded as carbon credits or in other various forms in carbon exchanges.

However, critics say the idea may not work well unless demand for carbon credits takes a boost in Asia. Liam Salter of WWF Hong Kong asserts carbon exchanges cant rely solely on CDM projects because of the uncertain future of CDM.

For detailed insight into the Asian Carbon Market, read here.

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Future development and July 28 headlines

Hi everybody,

We have a couple announcements we’d like to share with you. But first, we wanted to extend a thank you to all of our readers and the community that have been supporting this effort. Your support means a great deal. Thank you.

Site Update
Our goal is to provide free ongoing daily news about the exciting carbon market and have found a warm response to our service thus far. Because of this success, we are going to update our site over the coming weeks. The major goal of this update will be to allow us to incorporate more features and services for readers as well as incorporate better sponsorship opportunities. In the near future we hope to begin generating revenue so that we can increase the number of articles that we publish each day.

Our site, RSS feed, and email newsletter may experience a hiccup or two during this transition. So please bear with us over the next couple weeks as we go through this process 🙂

July 28 headlines
We apologize for missing yesterday’s headlines. Our author who writes the headlines was challenged by city-wide power outages that have continued on through to today. We are doing the best we can to keep our service consistent during this time.

If you have any questions about these items or general thoughts we’d love to hear them.

Thanks!

Chris

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Top Executives from GE, United Tech Ask Congress to Set Price for CO2

Executives from two large US firms have asked a congressional panel to set a price for CO2 emissions  so that companies would be motivated to use energy efficiently and the nation would take part in the fight against global warming. George David, Head of United Technologies Corporation, did not stress on any particular approach and said both carbon tax and cap-and-trade would be ok as long as there is a price for CO2. However, John Rice of General Electric recommended cap-and-trade as the most suitable approach to the issue.

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Interview: Carolyn Elefant on the Soundness of Carbon Offsets to Combat Global Warming

Carbon Offsets Daily: Do you think companies should use carbon offsets to mitigate their global warming emissions?

Carolyn Elefant: Companies should first focus on alternative measures to reduce global warming emissions.  For example, many companies use offsets to counterbalance the impact of air travel, though in many cases, they could replace the travel with phone communications or webinars. Similarly, for utilities, direct purchases of renewable power will reduce global emissions far more effectively than offsets.  To the extent that offsets help fund or subsidize renewable energy, I believe that they are a valuable tool in combating climate change.  However, offsets should not be regarded as a free pass for companies to maintain the status quo vis-a-vis their current practices.

These views are my personal views and do not represent an official position of OREC.

Carolyn Elefant, Law Office of Carolyn Elefant and Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition
www.renewablesoffshore.com
www.oceanrenewables.com


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New Facebook Application to Promote Energy Conservation

The student duo of Jin Fan and Kevin Muise at the Simon Fraser University in Canada have developed an application that uses Facebook as a platform to propel users towards a greener existence. Aptly named -GreeNet, the application depends on data from electricity providers to establish energy consumption patterns of users and accordingly creates a virtual garden in the user’s profile. Greener habits result in greener gardens with more trees and flowers.

The idea is get users to compare their energy usage with others and feel inspired to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Muise likens the process to actual gardening,"You see other people’s gardens growing beautifully and get the urge to improve your lawn." The GreeNet application got second position in the ‘Interface Design’ category at the recently held Imagine Cup that is sponsored by Microsoft. 

Fan and Muise chose Facebook – a popular social networking site for their application as they are looking to target the youth – "who one day will be the decision makers." However for the application to be successful it will need to be linked directly to energy use, which will require the participation of energy service providers in the project.

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Carbon Credit Traders Making Sound Sales on Auction Site Trade Me

While people may experience a hard time selling carbon credits through exchanges, online auction websites may offer some extra exposure to carbon traders. An auction website Trade Me reports a 71% sell-through rate for carbon credits, which happens to be the highest sell-through rate for any single category on the website.

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July 27 Carbon Industry Top Headlines

State Bank of India Looking for CDM Experts to Acquire Carbon Credits

After repeated calls from Americans and Australians, the environmental awareness situation in India is taking some twists. A recent story by the Hindustan Times says the State Bank of India (SBI) is on the lookout for greening consultants to cut its power usage and to accumulate some carbon credits.

The bank has requested CDM consultants to submit proposals for power saving projects. The consultants are supposed to recommend eco-friendly devices to SBI so that the bank can acquire carbon credits by taking advantage of Kyoto Protocols Carbon Development Mechanism. The bank has set August 5 as the last date for submission of applications.

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Australia: ANWU Asks Government to Impose Carbon Tariff, Develop Environment Friendly Industries

As various industries in Australia worry about their fate post emissions trading scheme, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has asked the government to introduce a special carbon tariff on all imports from firms operating in countries where GHG emissions arent monitored and taken care of.

The union wants to ensure that through the proposed carbon tariff, the prices of merchandise coming from such countries would increase so that Australian manufacturers are not negatively affected by the emissions scheme.

In addition to this, the AMWU wants the government to establish and promote alternate eco-friendly industries that would create jobs for those who may be laid off by emissions-intensive firms unable to compete with the emissions scheme in place.

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July 26 Carbon Industry Top Headlines

Ireland: Minister Hopes ESBs Emissions Reductions Program Would Become Model for Other Public Sector Organizations

The Electricity Supply Board in Ireland has initiated a green program with the objective of reducing its CO2 emissions by 30% in a 4-year period. This would include a number of measures that will help the organization reduce its carbon footprint at all ends. Apart from this, a

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Australia: Woodside CEO Aims at Free Carbon Permits for LNG Industry

Don Voelte, CEO of Woodside plans to insist on free carbon permits for the LNG industry when he meets senior ministers next week. Although the Rudd government has given hints they would give financial assistance to the industry, Mr. Voelte wants to ensure they get free carbon permits instead. He suggests that the government make some favorable adjustment in free permit qualification criterion i.e., lowering the amount of emissions an industry releases per $1 million revenue.

The LNG industry currently generates around 1200 tonnes of CO2 pr $1 of revenue realized, whereas industries generating at least 1500 tonnes per $1 million revenue qualify for free permits under the current scheme.

Shadow Treasurer Malcolm Turnbull, who previously advocated implementation of the emissions scheme by 2012 regardless of other countries policies, now seems to be changing his mind. 

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Carbon Sense Solutions to Bring Carbon Cutting Technology for Concrete Industry

Robert Nivens Carbon Sense Solutions may very well be on its way to introduce a ground-breaking technology for the concrete industry. The firm, based in Halifax, is testing a process that would take care of the CO2 released while manufacturing pre-cast concrete. Nova Scotia will be host to the testing program set to start this year as the concept seems theoretically feasible.

If successful, this would allow concrete producers to cut their carbon footprint by 20% and would also eliminate the need to store this CO2 underground. Cheryl Ratchford of the Ecology Action Centre is keeping an eye on this testing phase and has some reservations about this although she is satisfied with the positive attitude of the researchers.

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