From the Editors
The Ecosystem Marketplace's Forest Carbon News
Tracking Terrestrial Carbon
What if offsetting your carbon footprint was as automatic as swiping a credit card? Arthur Newman, CEO of Sustain:Green, thinks it should be. In a move combining American finance, Brazilian forestry and individual consumers everywhere, Newman is trying to jump start a so far latent aspect of the offset market.
Individuals made up less than 1% of voluntary demand for carbon offsets in 2013, according to Ecosystem Marketplace's State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2014 report. Newman, who previously worked on Wall Street, hopes to create a 'micro-market' for voluntary carbon offsets by removing some of the barriers to entry for individuals, including high transaction costs and a lack of small-scale buyer-seller linking mechanisms. Newman's Sustain:Green business model plans to make carbon offsetting accessible to individual consumers so long as they have or want to open up a line of credit.
Sustain:Green supplies consumers with a credit card similar to others, except in lieu of cash-back rewards, the company uses the return interest (of 2.7%) to purchase carbon offsets through the American Carbon Registry (ACR) at a small discount to the market price of offsets. There is no extra charge to the consumer for these offset purchases.
Sustain:Green partnered with Mata no Peito, a coalition initiative to support organizations and communities to protect and replant forests throughout Brazil. Mata no Peito is funded through the retirement of Nike carbon offsets, the originators of the project. When Sustain:Green, or any of the other participants, purchases and retires certain carbon offsets, all of the money is donated to the Mata no Peito fund, which provides seed investments to projects in the Brazilian rainforest.
Newman describes the organization as "effectively a Kickstarter for the Brazilian rainforest. They come up with market-based solutions for deforestation. In other words, they're looking for the root causes of deforestation, and trying to develop projects that address causes of deforestation and some of the impediments to reforestation. Money that is donated gets the projects off the ground, and projects are designed to generate their own offsets, which are then sold to provide continuous financing."
More news about the forest carbon marketplace is summarized below, so keep reading!
—The Ecosystem Marketplace Team
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