Australia drew the ire of the environmental community when it backed away from its carbon pricing program last year and established a nearly AU$2.6 billion Emissions Reduction Fund in its place. With the first auction coming up this week, critical issues still need to be resolved, including whether the funding will be sufficient to incentivize new emissions reduction projects.
Australia topped the news last week with the repeal of its carbon tax, South Korean ministers called for a delay in its carbon price, and New Zealand is considering shelving its program later this year. But voluntary buyers aren’t taking a vacation this summer with announcements from Chevrolet, Disney, and others.
Although New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme was the first in the world to accept forestry offsets, many local forestry projects are ineligible for the program, forcing them to turn to the voluntary carbon markets where demand for offsets is limited. Consultancy Carbon Partnership explains the challenges facing Kiwi forest carbon projects within the context of its Rarakau project.
Australia streamlines biodiversity offsets at the state level in New South Wales, but the national Biodiversity Fund will be defunded to the tune of $231 million as a side effect of the country moving to a floating carbon price. Meanwhile, wetlands are on everyone’s mind in the Gulf of Mexico, and a new crowdfunding platform is launched.
In the long run, Australia’s move to link its ETS with the EU ETS in 2015 and scrap its price floor could usher in a liquid international carbon market. The short term is more nebulous, despite provisions to bolster demand for the domestic Carbon Farming Initiative. Can the new policy sufficiently navigate carbon price risk and political uncertainty?
A group of land industry organizations are claiming the new ecosystem service based forest planning rule is in violation of several pieces of land management legislation. Because of what they believe to be a governmental overreach, they have filed a lawsuit against the US Forest Service. 29 August 2012 When the US Forest Service updated […]
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Michael Somare has reportedly denounced voluntary carbon schemes as being too risky. The message, however, is not posted on Somare’s web page, and the voluntary programs he’s denouncing were never verified to any recognized standard. Yes, all markets are risky — but which ones is he referring to, and who really bears the risk?
Broad but not deep, Australia’s new mandatory cap-and-trade regime limits the emissions of industries responsible for 75% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Those limits, however, are weak compared to those of most developed countries, and critics say the law actually prevents voluntary offsets from being used to incentivize deeper cuts.
As forests convert carbon dioxide in the air to carbon stored in woods, leaves and roots, a range of organizations are, in turn, working to convert forests into carbon offsets. The ‘exchange rate’ of this conversion — or the amount of value brought by intervention — is determined by specific standards’ methodologies, which are technical, but critical, tools shaping the rules of the game.