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Trees Win Big as Forest Carbon Surges to Record Year

Washington, DC | Investors and buyers have funneled record amounts of capital into forestry projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by conserving forests and capturing carbon in trees, according to a global survey of carbon market participants published on Thursday by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace.

The report, “State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2011: From Canopy to Currency,” documents a record $175 million flowing to support forest carbon projects in 2010, representing commitments to sequester enough carbon to offset nearly 30 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
“Contracts for forest carbon offsets more than doubled over the past two years, likely due to international policy discussions, and increased awareness of the critical role forests play in sequestering carbon,” says Katherine Hamilton, Ecosystem Marketplace’s Director and a report author.

Co-author David Diaz, also of Ecosystem Marketplace, agrees with the clear signs of progress, but sees a long road ahead.

“These markets have shown tremendous innovation and growth, but we are still a long way from channeling a sufficient amount of funding to reign in global forest loss as a critical source of greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
This is Ecosystem Marketplace’s second State of the Forest Carbon Markets report, which is compiled annually and builds upon data from hundreds of projects and interviews with dozens of market participants to uncover and analyzes trends by project type, country, and regulatory environment.

“This excellent source of information on market transactions in the forest realm is a vital part of our long-term vision to support land-use projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change in an environmentally and socially responsible manner,” says Ellysar Baroudy, who manages the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund.  “The forest carbon market is gaining momentum and it’s important to step back once a year, take stock of the achievements to date as well as the challenges, and use this data to prepare for the future.”

The report shows a decline in the number of projects that plant trees, a steady increase in projects that promote improved forest management, and a surge in projects that save endangered rainforests (REDD – Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation).  Indeed, despite being the source of the earliest carbon offset transactions, REDD projects roared back from near obscurity just a few years ago to account for nearly 70% of the market activity last year.

The report also finds an influx of private-sector project developers, investors and intermediaries willing to market these credits – a clear transition from previous years, when conservation non-profits paved the way by developing most of these projects.

“The influx of private-sector investment is a positive indication that some of the major financial firms have a level of confidence – albeit backed by early-stage market risk – that forest carbon projects will play a significant role in the future of carbon markets and in reducing global GHG emissions,” says Steve Baczko, Director of Commercialization for ERA Ecosystem Restoration Associates Inc.

A strong demand for projects with other environmental and social benefits beyond carbon reductions is also now apparent, particularly through independent certification of each project’s carbon reductions and broader environmental and community benefits.  In 2010, the leading standard for demonstrating carbon reductions was the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), which was applied to more than half of the credits projects planned to deliver.  Beyond carbon, additional certifications to the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards found widespread appeal.

The hundreds of projects tracked in this report (many of which have public profiles on Ecosystem Marketplace’s Forest Carbon Portal, www.forestcarbonportal.com), come from a broad spectrum of project developers, governments, indigenous and community groups, and the private sector demonstrate that forests projects can and are meeting many of the demands for high-quality emissions reductions.  What remains to be seen is whether this work of this diverse sector will be meaningfully scaled up and incorporated into the efforts international negotiators and other policymakers are now designing for the bigger fight against climate change and to conserve the world’s forests.

The State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2011 is public and freely available thanks to support from the report’s Premium Sponsors – Wildlife  Works Carbon, ERA Ecosystem Restoration Associates Inc., and the World Bank BioCarbon Fund – and Sponsors – Ecotrust, Face the Future, Forest Carbon Group, Det Norske Veritas, and Baker & McKenzie.
Support for Ecosystem Marketplace comes from USAID, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, the United Nations Development Programme, the Global Environment Facility, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  For a copy of the report, please visit www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/reports/forestcarbon2011.

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Europe Ends Three-Month Curbs on Carbon Registries After Hacking Thefts

The European Union allowed the Lithuanian carbon registry to reopen tomorrow, bringing back to normal all emission registries in its cap-and-trade system after a string of thefts triggered three months of restrictions.

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German Power, Carbon Prices Rise to Highest in 19 Months

German power and European Union carbon permits rose to their highest prices in more than 19 months as utilities prepare to hedge forward sales of electricity generated from fossil fuels.

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Kenya opens Africa’s first carbon exchange

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya opened Africa’s first climate exchange platform on Thursday, expected to unlock trade in carbon credits on the continent and benefit small scale projects.

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Potential for fraud in carbon markets: PwC

As Canada looks to carbon markets as a way to curb emissions, recent controversies in Europe have raised concerns on their viability and susceptibility to fraud. Jonathan Holmes, forensic accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, tells BNN fraud continues to plague carbon markets and companies should act with caution.

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Great minds can’t think alike on carbon model

THE multi-party climate committee has failed to agree on a ”model” for a carbon price despite both Labor and the Greens supporting a ”hybrid” system of a carbon tax eventually leading to an emissions trading scheme.

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U.N. panel eyes ways to expand and speed carbon offsets

(Reuters) – A United Nations panel will discuss this week ways to give poor countries better access to clean energy projects and clear a backlog of applications for carbon offsets, members said in a webcast on Monday.

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Europe’s Carbon Emissions Trading — Growing Pains or Wholesale Theft?

NEW YORK — Have criminals found a lucrative niche in carbon markets?

Previously, many bankers and traders said no, insisting that one-off incidents involving theft or cheating in Europe’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) were isolated events attributable mostly to the youth of the market. Advocates of a cap-and-trade approach to tackling climate change said that such growing pains are inevitable, but regulators and legitimate market participants would get better at warding off abuses.

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Expiration of Kyoto Would Mean Little for CO2 Markets, EU Says

The possible expiration of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 would mean

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jan 19th, 2011
  • Category: UK
  • Comments: 1

Fossil fuel investments will continue to outstrip low-carbon alternatives this year

| Sourced From Balkans |

Fossil fuel investments will continue to outstrip low-carbon alternatives this year, darkening a sector struggling to shake off the financial crisis and sagging political momentum on climate change.

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World Bank puts up

| Sourced From Businessgreen |

The World Bank has launched a

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EU Carbon Permits Drop to Lowest Since July 30 on Offset Supply

| Sourced From Sfgate |

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) — European Union carbon permits fell to their lowest price since July 30 as the United Nations- overseen regulator boosted the supply of offset credits.

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  • Published: Dec 17th, 2010
  • Category: USA
  • Comments: None

EcoSecurities Says Cancun Talks Outcome May Spur Tighter EU Carbon Target

| Sourced From Bloomberg |

Alexander Sarac, general counsel at JPMorgan Chase & Co.s EcoSecurities unit, comments on the climate talks in Cancun, Mexico — on national emissions targets and on United Nations offset trading. Dublin-based EcoSecurities invests in greenhouse-reduction projects.

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Quick Stop on Cancun COP: December 9

Setting the Stage
LULUCF: Key issues for Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) are accounting in developed (Annex 1) countries and the future of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) post 2012. Negotiators are focused on if and how emissions from forest management will be accounted for by developed countries. Both issues are being hashing out in the AdHoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP15).

REDD+: Potential agreements on REDD+ are a beam of hope in an otherwise dreary forecast. Components relevant to REDD+ wind throughout several negotiation streams as well as Interim REDD+ Partnership discussions. How REDD+ could fit into country emission reduction commitments, equitable distribution of funds, the use of market mechanisms and the development of appropriate funds are in motion under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG LCA). AWG-LCA Chair Margaret Mukahanana- Sangarwe identified REDD+, along with adaptation agriculture and technology as issues as areas where consensus could be reached at COP 16.

Continue Reading at Ecosystemmarketplace

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  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 29th, 2010
  • Category: USA
  • Comments: None

U.S. Carbon Trading Goes Up in Smoke

| Sourced From Businessweek |

Just three years ago, George H. Stein, a managing director at New York-based recruiter Commodity Talent, was seeing a brisk volume in calls from Wall Streeters looking to make a career switch. While oil traders were getting pilloried on Capitol Hill, a new line of work promised to deliver wealth and social benefits: buying and selling carbon permits in the emerging market designed to control global warming pollution. “There was such a great deal of interest in carbon trading,” recalls Stein.

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Green Gold: How Carbon Finance can Help Mongolian Herders

| Sourced From Ecosystemmarketplace |

The right financing changes everything.

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Africa could cash in on future carbon markets

| Sourced From Businessday |

AFRICA is well positioned to benefit from a future carbon markets regime as least- developed countries are likely to be favoured over industrial developing giants such as China and India, the African Bankers Carbon Finance and Investment Forum heard last week .

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Press Release: GHG Management Institute: Release of second annual GHG/Climate Change Workforce Needs Assessment survey

| Sourced From GHGinstitute |

Later this month the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute, in cooperation with Sequence Staffing, will release the results of its second annual GHG/Climate Change Workforce Needs Assessment survey. Building on 2009s findings (last years survey report available here), the 2010 survey report captures the responses of nearly 1,000 global GHG practitioners on a number of key climate change workforce development and topical policy questions.

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EXCLUSIVE-Carbon, forex among UN climate aid suggestions

* Draft says private and public sectors should be tapped

* Objections to many of the suggestions

* Cash to help poor curb emissions, tackle drought or floods

OSLO, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Carbon markets and taxes on foreign exchange deals or plane tickets are among suggested sources for a promised $100 billion a year from 2020 to help poor nations fight climate change, a draft report by U.N. advisers said.

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Australia Studies Ways for Farmers to Develop Carbon Offsets, Earn Credits

| Sourced From Bloomberg |

Australias government will study rules for farmers to receive credits for steps that reduce or store carbon dioxide emissions, such as planting forests, the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency said.

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  • Published: Oct 31st, 2010
  • Category: USA
  • Comments: None

Increasing Access to Carbon Markets in the Americas

| Sourced From Fastcompany |

The Inter-American Development Bank wants to give the Americas greater access to carbon markets and they’re now one step closer to doing so with their new $50 million dollar MicroCarbon Development Fund, a vehicle to invest in residential and municipal energy efficiency programs across central and South America.

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Opinion: On the Blog: Dominican Forum Illuminates “Next Phase” in Voluntary Carbon Finance

| Sourced From Ecosystemmarketplace |

Latin America’s share of the voluntary carbon pie has grow dramatically over the last two years, but the Dominican Republic has focused almost exclusivly on offsets recognized under the Kyoto Protocol.

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Carbon trading likely to develop regionally -experts

* Domestic policy to drive carbon market development

* Bottom-up approach to replace international agreement

* Carbon markets to evolve like currency markets

MELBOURNE, Australia, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Huge investments in green technology in Asia and steps towards domestic emissions trading are opening up the prospect of regional carbon trading, climate change experts in Asia said on Wednesday.

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Farming carbon

| Sourced From Sciencealert |

On 1 July this year NCOS came into effect. [1] It is designed to give Australian businesses, particularly farm businesses, opportunities to develop offset credits for voluntary carbon markets. Emissions from revegetation, forest management, and cropland and grazing land management

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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 19th, 2010
  • Category: USA
  • Comments: 6

NYSE Euronext in joint venture on carbon trading

| Sourced From Washingtonpost |

NEW YORK — NYSE Euronext said Tuesday it plans to combine its European carbon trading unit with a U.S. firm to expand its environmental energy business.

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