Carbon Offsets Daily

Daily carbon offset news, insight, community.

Australia: Emissions Scheme Would Promote Gas-Fired Plants and Renewable Energy

A research done by ACIL Tasman revealed emissions reductions in Australia are expected to decrease the countrys power generating capacity in the east coast by a significant 23% by 2020. The Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA) stated this lost capacity would be compensated by focusing on gas-fired and renewable power facilities. The Australian government has planned to reduce electricity-generated emissions by up to 20%, which would mean reduction of around 6,700-10,400 MW of power.

At present, the nation gets around 85% of its power supply through coal-fired plants, which generate huge amounts of CO2 emissions if compared with gas plants. The research also highlighted that the country will have to put in around $31.7 billion through 2020, a large proportion of which would go to development of renewable energy facilities and gas-fired plants.

ESAA CEO Brad Page says the situation is very promising indeed.

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July 25 Carbon Industry Top Headlines

Interview: AskPablo 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?

AskPablo: I think that verified, high-quality carbon offset credits are an excellent market mechanism for achieving emissions reductions. Of course the use of offset credits should come after all feasible energy efficiency improvements are made and all renewable energy alternatives are explored. Even then the use of offset credits should continue to be only part of a company’s efforts to reduce their emissions. In order to create meaningful reductions in emissions a carbon credit needs to meet regulatory and financial additionality, be quantified using a rigorously validated, and ISO 14064-2 compliant, methodology that requires relevance, completeness, consistency, transparency, accuracy, and conservativeness, as well as being third-party verified to the ISO 14064-3 standard.

Pablo Päster
VP
www.climate-check.com


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Avis Budget Group to go Carbon Neutral

Avis Budget Group – a leading car rental operator that includes Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car, has teamed up with Carbonfund.org – a non-profit carbon offset provider, with a view to provide an array of carbon offset options to its customers that will mitigate the adverse environmental impact of the rental car industry. Its customers will be able to offsets their emissions by making a donation to Carbonfund.org through the Avis or Budget websites that will be used to purchase carbon credits, which in turn will fund clean technology initiatives.

Avis Budget Group has take other noteworthy eco-conscious steps as well. Its fleet, a large majority of which is U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay Certified, includes fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. The company also provides other eco-friendly options such as eToll electronic toll collection and where2 GPS navigation. In addition, it is planning to establish an environment management system (EMS) to make sure that its operations are in keeping with the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001.

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Up to 0.6 B Tons of Yearly Emissions Cuts Possible through Protection of Tropical Rainforests

If industrialized countries safeguard tropical rainforests from deforestation, they may be able to offset around 50 million tons of CO2 at an approximate rate of $2/ton, reveals Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in one of its July 23 publications.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) is an effective strategy that has the potential to safeguard the environment and decelerate climate change.

One of the authors of this research claims that REDD is an economically viable and feasible option for the Americans and would result in savings for taxpayers. It has been estimated that at the rate of $2-5 per metric ton of carbon credit, we can cut worldwide deforestation by 10% by 2030, which would cut CO2 emissions by around 0.3-0.6 billion metric tons per year.

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Hong Kong Formulates Strategy to Proceed with Carbon Audits of Buildings

It is the first time the Hong Kong government has published guidelines to carry out carbon audits on buildings, reported the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government.

The Environment Secretary Edward Yau stated that people can do the audits to figure out how much GHG emissions are being generated by the buildings. The Secretary further mentioned buildings make up around 89% of Hong Kongs electricity usage and they would have to cut this consumption in order to cut GHG emissions. In addition, Hong Kongs yearly GHG emissions are around 45 million tons, more than 60% of which are produced by electricity usage.

It is expected that at least 100 buildings will proceed with audits this year, whereas 37 organizations are to do the audits in the coming two years. Hence, there is a good chance carbon trading and offsetting schemes would see a boost in this region within the next couple of years, but this would also depend on governments policy about how they want emissions-intensive companies to go carbon neutral.

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Western Climate Initiative to Start Carbon Trading in 2012

The Western Climate Initiative (WCI) – a group of seven states on the West Coast of the United States and four Canadian provinces, intends to introduce a market-based emissions cap-and-trade scheme, as per a draft proposal released on Wednesday. Even though details such as how to appropriate emission allowances etc. are yet to be finalized, the group foresees a 2012 kick-off.

The WCI was initiated in 2007 by U.S. governors led by Arnold Schwarzenegger with the objective of taking concrete steps against climate change. It consists of the US states of Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington, along with the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Several states in the two countries as well as Mexico are observers in the WCI.

The WCI hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by fifteen per cent as compared to 2005 levels by 2020.

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July 24 Carbon Industry Top Headlines

Interview: AboutMyPlanet 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?

AboutMyPlanet: Companies should do whatever is possible to help the environment. Carbon offsets is certainly one way to do so, however it seems like an easy way for a company to say they’re environmental friendly. There should be much more emphasis on companies going green by changing the way they do business, investing in alternative energy generation where ever possible. This will promote the use of alternative energy and bring costs down for anyone who is interested in moving in that direction.

Bart Dabek
Founder
www.aboutmyplanet.com

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July 23 Carbon Industry Top Headlines

Two Major Carbon Industry Associations Unite to Have Stronger Voice

International Carbon Investor and Service (INCIS) and Carbon Markets Association (CMA) will incorporate into a single body probably in August.

Both associations carbon industry firms and are expected to organize a joint meeting next month to select the board of the new amalgamated association. Carbon Finance reports that the new body will be named Carbon Markets Investors Association; however, the name isnt final yet.

Imtiaz Ahmad, VP of INCIS, states that this step will give the carbon industry a united voice when significant changes are taking place in the international community. Similar views were expressed by Anthony Hobley, chairman of the CMA.

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GM,Nissan Prepare to Launch Electric Cars

General Motors announced at the recently held Plug-In 2008 conference that it has partnered with 34 utilities and also the Electric Power Research Institute to pave the way for a smooth introduction of its plug-in electric hybrid – Volt that is slated to hit the roads in 2010. GM wants to make sure that the electrical infrastructure is ready to take on the extra load and that Volt users are easily able to recharge their vehicles.

Nissan will also be ready with its zero-emission electric car by 2011 and it has teamed up with Tennessee to be able to determine the infrastructural requirements for running the car. Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn said:

"We are forming a partnership with the state of Tennessee to promote zero-emission mobility"

Nissan has similar tie-ups with  Portugal, Israel and Denmark.

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California and 13 States to Cut Vehicle Emissions, Fuel Economy to Become 43 MPG per Gallon

The Sierra Club may soon press automobile manufacturers to raise the fuel efficiency of cars to 43 mpg, even though the US Congress had agreed to 35 miles per gallon in Dec 2007. A total of 14 US states including California will implement laws to restrict CO2 emissions by vehicles. Although the present US administration hasnt given a green signal to this law, both Democratic and Republican candidates have voiced their support for it.

The California Air Resources Board states that the fuel efficiency of automobiles would go up to around 43 mpg by 2020 if CO2 emissions generated by vehicles are reduced to the level proposed by California. This would also mean a $13 billion per year boost in the expenses of automakers, beginning from 2016 when the law would come into full effect.

The major breakthrough would be huge cuts in GHG emissions along with a sharp decrease in the nations oil imports.

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July 22 Carbon Industry Top Headlines

Architectural Area Lighting (AAL) First Carbon Neutral Company to Provide Lightings

Architectural Area Lighting (AAL), which offers eco-friendly and effective outdoor fixtures to the construction industry, is the only carbon neutral company in the market that produces lightings. The firm became carbon neutral in Nov 2007 and is a supplier of green products to architects.

The company has gone well above the minimum standard provided by the US Green Building Council and worked hard for 14 consecutive months to achieve its current carbon neutral status.

AAL also provides training classes to industry professionals on the topic of carbon neutrality. The classes have been certified by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

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UK Government Needs to Take Action Against Coal-Fired Plants

The Environmental Audit Committee has released a report warning the British government that unless it takes strict action against coal-fired power plants, it will not be able to meet its CO2 emission targets. The report stressed the need to get rid of the power plants that do not run with clean technology.

Coal-fired plants emit twice the amount of CO2 as compared to those that use gas but with gas prices spiraling up, coal is becoming the preferred fuel of choice. Despite their serious environmental impact, UK might see the setting up of 5 or 6 coal plants by 2015.

A probable solution lies in using Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology and the report urges the government to set a deadline for closing the coal-burning plants that do not embrace it. However, as of now CCS is expensive and calls for greater fuel usage. There is uncertainty about when it will be become technologically and commercially feasible.

According to the report:

"Unless there is a dramatic technological development, coal should be seen as the last resort, even with the promise of carbon capture and storage (CCS)"

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Top Australian Firms Join Hands with Workers Union amid Emissions Trading Scheme

The emissions trading scheme in Australia is setting the ground for a cold war between the government and the nations richest firms. Some of these top firms have joined hands with one of Australias most influential worker unions to save major industries from the negative impact of the emissions scheme.

Companies like Qantas, Shell and Alcoa have teamed up with the Australian Workers Union to safeguard their common interests. Paul Howes, national secretary of the AWU stated that they dont want to fight the government but instead want to ensure that the industrial sector is not negatively affected.

In addition, some other associations like the Business Council of Australia are also holding talks with the AWU for a feasible solution to the problem. Despite these activities, Mr. Howes has praised the governments green paper for bringing a few positive outcomes.

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July 21 Carbon Industry Top Headlines

UK: More Air Travelers Buying Carbon Offsets

Organizations selling carbon offsets may now get more exposure if they expand their operations to the UK, especially if they are interested in providing offsets to the airline industry. The Air Transport User Council (ATUC) reports that more people are now buying offsets although the general public is still concerned about high ticket prices.

Since many offsetting schemes are catering to the airline industry, the competition may be tough for newcomers. British Airways has seen a 100% increase in its uptake within the preceding months, stated James Fremantle of the ATUC.

It has been estimated that 1 tonne of carbon dioxide is emitted per 4,000 miles of air travel per person.

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Sterling Planet to Purchase United States’ First VCS Approved Units

Sterling Planet – a leading provider of carbon neutral solutions to various organizations that include switching to renewable energy and offering carbon offsets, is all set to purchase carbon units from what is claimed to be United States’ first Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) verified project. The project in question is the Greenville County landfill gas utilization project – located in Greer, South Carolina that will lead to an annual reduction of methane emissions by 6,000 metric tons over the next decade. In terms of environmental impact, this is equivalent to taking as many as 23,000 passenger vehicles off the roads per year.

Sterling Planet will include the Greenville Voluntary Carbon Units in its retail portfolio for companies who are looking to invest in carbon offsets. The company’s President and CEO, Mel Jones said:

"The VCS-certified Greenville project will help support the demand that Sterling Planet has created for credible, high-quality carbon offset solutions."

The VCS program, based on the Kyoto Protocol’s CDM covers voluntary offsets and calls for the fulfillment of certain criteria such as additionality, permanence, measurability among others.

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Carbonetworks to Raise $5 million for Marketing, Sales of Carbon Management Software Package

Software maker Carbonetworks, which brings state-of the-art software for the carbon trading industry, is going to raise around $5 million with the help of NGEN Partners, a clean-tech company.

The carbon management software that Carbonetworks has made is a comprehensive package that lets you calculate your organizations GHG emissions and facilitates the process of reducing those emissions. In addition, the software also connects you to a wide network that comprises of carbon offsetters, analysts, carbon traders and other carbon industry people.

The best thing about this software is that it allows users to create their own customized applications and when they want to manage their carbon by offsetting emissions or selling credits, this software package will find suitable partners from the wide network it has.   

Around 50% of Carbonetworks clients are from North America whereas the rest come from Europe and Middle East. At the moment, around $3 million have been raised and the company intends to use the money for marketing and sales.

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July 20 Carbon Industry Top Headlines

Interview: Maria Energia 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?

Maria Energia: Companies should use carbon offsets as a last resort to offset their global warming emissions. First and foremost, they should invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Then, when they have maximized those technologies, they may use carbon offsets from a legitimate company with certified carbon offsets. I am skeptical of many companies that seem to buy offsets as a "quick fix" to their emissions…a more meaningful, sustaining impact should be made first with efficiency and renewables.

Maria Surma Manka
Blogger
Maria Energia 

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Magic Mushrooms = Carbon Offsets?

Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world.

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Professor Jayant Baliga: The Man with the Worlds Smallest Carbon Footprint!

While many of us try to do several things in order to reduce our footprint, we are not anywhere near Jayant Baliga, the green professor at North Carolina State University who also presides over N.C. State’s Power Semiconductor Research Center. Using his academic skills in electrical engineering, this man created a power-saving switch that saves an amazing 1.4 trillion (yes, thats trillion) pounds of CO2 from getting mixed up in our dear environment every year! Not only this, but this green device also saves around $300 billion.

So Baligas contribution to the world is a global saving of 125 gigawatts of power per annum, through which he has offset the footprint of 175 million people! One would need to grow many million trees to have a footprint this small. Although many of us benefit from his works, he is still unknown to many.

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