From the Editors:
The Ecosystem Marketplace's Forest Carbon News
Tracking Terrestrial Carbon
Forget Annex I and II; this month we're all about Groups A through H as the world's finest fútbol players battle it out in Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian locales. And of course, we're paying special attention to Group G, which stands for (reduced) greenhouse gases, our Senior Carbon Associate Gloria Gonzalez, Germany and, most importantly, GOALLLLLLL.
But don't think we're too distracted by World Cup matches to bring you the news. In fact, we didn't even have to switch our Google feeds off of FIFA to find something related to carbon offsets: the International Federation of Association Football has pledged to offsets all direct emissions from the World Cup, estimated at 59,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2e), and Brazil has encouraged private companies to purchase and donate offsets to help reduce some of the 1.4 million tCO2e or so indirect emissions from the tournament, mainly caused by plane travel. So far, 11 companies – including the Brazilian subsidiaries of Solvay S.A., ArcelorMitall, and Bunge Limited – have stepped up to the plate, purchasing 420,500 tCO2e, covering about a third of the World Cup's total emissions.
In an interview with Ecosystem Marketplace, Mariama Vendramini, Finance and Commercial Director of Brazilian project developer Biofílica, talked about how the World Cup, paired with last year's major transaction between the Surui avoided deforestation (REDD) project in Brazil and cosmetics giant Natura, are helping to increase the visibility of corporate offsetting in Brazil. Her predictions?
"Demand will rise as public awareness grows with examples such as the World Cup's, Natura's and other companies' activities on the voluntary market. And it has a shifting potential with a push from the to-be-established Paris agreement..." Vendramini said, referring to the 2015 negotiations in Paris to lock down a global climate agreement. "We are already seeing the development of local mechanisms to price carbon that are popping up around the world, pushed by this trend."
Indeed, a new, interactive supply-and-demand graph for REDD reveals that demand looks very different depending on which emerging compliance markets accept REDD offsets. In general, as new climate legislation emerges around the world, policymakers are grappling with whether and how to roll offsets from tree planting, improved forest management and avoided land conversion into emissions reductions programs. Many of the major players are moving forward cautiously.
For instance, though China didn't make the cut for the World Cup, they're certainly making cuts in emissions with six new subnational carbon markets that allow companies to purchase offsets to cover 5-10% of their compliance obligations. Forest offsets are so far playing a small role in China's markets: Of about 70 projects seeking validation as China Certified Emissions Reductions as of February 2014, only one was forestry. So far, forestry offsets are allowed in the province of Hubei and will likely be allowed in the city of Chongqing, but not in the other five markets.
The voluntary carbon markets, however, are not facing the same restrictions around forestry projects, and these project types – in particular REDD – are gaining market share as corporate buyers seek to offset emissions while also supporting biodiversity or local livelihoods.
A special Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace event in Washington DC on Tuesday, June 24 from 4:30-6:00 EDT will outline these and other findings from our State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2014 report. Co-authors Molly Peters-Stanley and Gloria Gonzalez will first discuss key trends on the voluntary carbon market. Then, Forest Trends President and CEO Michael Jenkins will moderate a panel of three carbon market participants: Christian Dannecker, Director of Forestry at South Pole Group; Brian McFarland, Director of Carbon Projects and Origination at Carbonfund.org; and Hans Wegner, Chief Sustainability Officer at National Geographic Society. It is sure to be a lively discussion, and we hope you will join us.
To register for the event, please RSVP with full contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 19. Space is limited. If you are unable to attend in person, register for the live webstream.
More stories from the forest carbon marketplace are summarized below, so keep reading!
—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team
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