Posts tagged ‘Carbon’

NW company becomes first to utilize carbon credits

January 6, 2010

By Oregon Small Business Association,

In a recent transaction in the Pacific Northwest, Jefferson Land Trust sold 400 metric tons of timber resources.  What makes the deal remarkable is that it didnâeuro™t sell any woodâeuro”instead the sale was for the carbon stored in the trees.  It was the first direct purchase of carbon credits by a Pacific Northwest company and the first on the North Olympic Peninsula.  Shorebank Enterprise Cascadia, a non-profit financial institution that promotes economic opportunity and a healthy environment, purchased the carbon from the land trust.  In return, the company offsets three years of its carbon dioxide emissions.

Although the company had previously analyzed its operation and adopted efficiencies to reduce its carbon use as much as possible, some carbon use could not be avoided.  âeuroœWith this purchase of carbon offsets, we are paying the environmental cost of doing business,âeuro Shorebankâeuro™s Mark Bowman told The Statesman Journal.

Carbon offsets enable individuals and businesses to reduce the CO2 emissions they are responsible for by offsetting, reducing or displacing the CO2 in another place.  Carbon offsets typically include renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects.

Trees naturally collect carbon in the photosynthesis process, taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, absorbing the carbon as they grow and locking up greenhouse gases that might otherwise contribute to environmental damage. Carbon is released when the trees are eventually cut down.  In a carbon trade, the owner of the forest is paid to delay harvesting for the contracted amount of time so that the forest will continue to hold the carbon.  In this transaction, the contracted amount of time is 100 years.

According to The Statesman Journal, all forests store carbon in their trees and soil, but the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest have the greatest carbon accumulations of any ecosystem on Earth.

Back in 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both came under fire for flying in private jets to promote their stateâeuro™s environmental efficiency credentials, emitting tons of carbon in the process.  To silence their critics, both announced they had purchased carbon credits from the Van Eck Forest in Humboldt County.

Ideally, carbon emission offsetting should be used to offset the unavoidable CO2 pollution after all other possible alternative efficiencies have been exhausted.  The danger of carbon offsetting is to postpone real solutions to solve the problem of global warming and other pollution.

Envirocitizen.org is a comprehensive ecommerce website that combines robust commerce, content, and community.  We believe that we have created the most comprehensive site to date to make eco-friendly products, services, and information available to individuals who wish to live a green, more eco-friendly lifestyle.  Our site offers a very broad and diverse array of eco-friendly products as well as comprehensive, authoritative information and environmental education.  Additionally, users can enjoy the sense of community created by participating in our Forum.

Environment – Capping-and-Trading Carbon Credits

Both the private sector and the U.S. Congress are working from opposite on the same scheme that is supposed to stop and hopefully reverse global warming – the “cap-and-trade” system of “carbon credits.”

This is how the scheme works:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is known to be the number one polluter of our atmosphere and thus number one culprit in global warming. Private companies, and especially utility companies that produce energy through fossil fuels like coal, are among the top producers of CO2. And right now there is no limit to the amount of CO2 that such companies can produce.

Thus, someone suggested to create an artificial “scarcity” of CO2, which would be a very good thing.

How do you do that? By passing a law to limit the amount of CO2 that each company can produce.

But what if a company produces LESS than it’s allowed amount? Or what if another company needs to produce MORE carbon dioxide for various reasons?

Then the company that is below its “carbon emission quota” can sell that “right to pollute” on the open market to the company that needs to emit more carbon into the atmosphere. Thus, such “carbon permits” can be sold and bought just like regular stocks in the stock market.

The cap-and-trade system is already in use in Europe at this writing (March 2007) and the prices of such permits tripled within the last two years.

An increasing number of giant corporations in the U.S. are now endorsing the cap-and-trade system thinking they need to be at the table when the nature and amount of caps are decided. I think they are being very smart. You either have a role in determining the rules of the cap-and-trade game or you live by its ramifications. You are either sitting at the steering wheel of this cap-and-trade juggernaut or you are going to get hit by it.

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Ugur Akinci, Ph.D. is a writer with 20 years of experience. He is available for a wide variety of freelance assignments. Visit his web site http://www.writer111.com for more information on his services.

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Environment – The Politics of “Carbon Credit” Incentives in New Zealand

Using “carbon credits” as a tool and an incentive to slow down global warming by rewarding those that release less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is a solution that must be implemented with utmost care for the correct policy measures to go along with it.

If implemented within a framework of incorrect politics, it can backfire and either handicap the economy with unnecessary restriction and land use patterns or create serious political fractions within a country, or both.

A case in point is the “deforestation tax” controversy raging in New Zealand (as of early 2007).

It all started when the forest owners in New Zealand felt compelled by market forces to shift their land use from forestry to dairy farming. This would have required cutting down forests to make way for the dairy farms. By 2012, a total of 44,000 hectares of forest are expected to give way to pastures and other uses.

However, there is a problem. When live tress are cut, they eventually release all the carbon dioxide that they have stored inside. Thus deforestation by definition increases the “carbon footprint” and contributes to the greenhouse effect.

The overall cost of “deforestation liability” is estimated to hit $ 650 million by 2012 in New Zealand.

As an incentive to stop or slow down the conversion of forests to pastures, the government announced a deforestation tax for trees that were planted before 1990.

But since the tax would be applied only after a certain future date, the decision actually helped accelerate deforestation instead of slowing it down since everybody wanted to beat the deadline and shift to dairy farming without incurring any taxes.

How much should such permits cost? What should be the size limits on forest plots that would be exempted from such a tax? Which year should be declared as the cut-off date for the taxes?

These are all questions with different sets of “winners” and “losers.” Unless the political balance between such groups are addressed well, not only social justice but even a country’s economic development might be effected adversely while trying to curb greenhouse gases and global warming.

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Ugur Akinci, Ph.D. is a writer with 20 years of experience. He is available for a wide variety of freelance assignments. Visit his web site http://www.writer111.com for more information on his services.

Capital Alternatives Rice farming for carbon credits

Agricultural investment: Rice farming for carbon credits

 

In the sub-Saharan region many biotic and environmental factors hinder rice production which raises the gap between consumption and production. Capital Alternatives explored the opportunity for agricultural land investment and negotiated prime rice farm lands in Sierra Leone on a lease term of 49 years for investment purpose. Our investment opportunity in rice farming and agriculture land is provided under the project called Agri Capital where a minimum of £5,850 should be invested for 3 acres of land, where the price of the land is £5,250 and £600 is the set up fee for each acre of land. The investors will own a title deed of the land and you can select your own fields to invest.

 

Some of the key points of investments in African agricultural land are

 

Rice harvesting will provide estimated income of 15% per annum.
The last harvests yielded a return of 16.2% and 14% respectively.
At least two harvests per annum
The capital value of land will increase every year
Returns will be generated from tangible assets
Increasing demand for rice (which is the staple food of local population)
Non cyclic investment
Money-back guarantee (where full investment is returned if Agri Capital does not harvest in the first 2 years)
Agri Capital also aims to provide health, education and also food to the local population
No hidden charges or ongoing fees

 

It is believed the investment in agricultural land will provide significantly high returns and our investors will get at least 50% of the initial investments as returns. Agri Capital aims to provide a minimum of 40% of profit from the rice crops harvesting to the investors and the capital value of African agriculture land is increasing with a conservative rate of 7%. Hence, investors will be benefited through the harvests of the land and also from the capital appreciation on the land.  The land will be provided on freehold ownership and the investors can either sell the plots separately (if you have bought more than 3 acres of land) or all at one time.

Once the set up fee has been taken, the field area is cleared to prepare it for planting and in a year the land will be valued higher than the non-productive lands. It is believed the returns from capital appreciation and the harvests from rice farming can provide returns of minimum 175% in five years (which includes the profits generated from harvests in the five year).

This article has been written under the guidance of expertise that has the vast knowledge in  Alternative Investment

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Watching out for Carbon Credit Scams

Along with positive ideas come those scammers who are out to make a buck. Even though trading in carbon credits is still in its infancy, there are those who are already taking advantage of what may be a very beneficial environmental program. To first understand how to avoid being taken advantage of, it is important to understand exactly what carbon credits are.

Carbon credits are part of national and international attempts to stop the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. One carbon credit is equal to one ton of carbon. Many individuals are now taking an interest in their carbon footprints, trying to lower their usage, as well as trying different ways to offset their usage. Carbon credits are part of an approach to emissions trading. With a certain amount of greenhouse gas allotted to markets, each individual group is given the opportunity to decide how much of a limited amount can be designated to each area. This allows for industries to control the amount of greenhouse gases they are using. This also allows industrial and commercial processes to market in the direction of lower emissions, or utilize approaches that are designed to not emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This helps to finance carbon reduction schemes.

Many companies sell carbon credits. These carbon credits are sold to companies who voluntarily desire to lower their carbon footprint. Carbon credits are purchased from investment funds or carbon development companies. Many of these companies have saved these credits from other individual products and offset themselves and the buyers by selling them. The quality of the credits is based on the validation process, the type of fund, and the development company. The price is also affected by these things. Voluntary units typically have less value than the units sold through the rigorously-validated Clean Development Mechanism.

There are two distinct types of Carbon Credits: Carbon Offset Credits (COCs) and Carbon Reduction Credits (CRCs). Carbon Offset Credits consist of clean forms of energy production, wind, solar, hydro and biofuels. Carbon Reduction Credits consists of the collection and storage of Carbon from the earth’s atmosphere through reforestation, forestation, ocean and soil collection and storage efforts. Both ways are valid and positively recognized, each used in different situations.

Whether or not you decide that the use of carbon credits are for you, it is important to know how to avoid being scammed.

• First and foremost, do your research on the company you are thinking of buying credit from. It is necessary to see if the industrial companies are actually implementing reductions in carbon use and greenhouse emissions or if they are really doing very little.

• They need to have verification. A shortage of verification makes it difficult for buyers to assess the true value of carbon credits. Reliable third party verification is critical.

• Be careful of companies or individuals that are over-pricing their carbon credits. Why are their credits more expensive? What is their value? Have their prices increased or decreased due to changes in their emissions reductions?

Do the research before purchasing carbon credits. It is important to find if the organization has any history of selling worthless credits which do not yield reductions. There is no point in purchasing carbon credits if they do not benefit you or the environment.

Envirocitizen.org is a comprehensive ecommerce website that combines robust commerce, content, and community.  We believe that we have created the most comprehensive site to date to make eco-friendly products, services, and information available to individuals who wish to live a green, more eco-friendly lifestyle.  Our site offers a very broad and diverse array of eco-friendly products as well as comprehensive, authoritative information and environmental education.  Additionally, users can enjoy the sense of community created by participating in our Forum.

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What is the background of carbon credits

Fossil fuels are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases are generated by power, cement, steel, textile, fertilizer, and many other industries. The major greenhouse gases emitted are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons. They all increase the atmosphere’s ability to trap infrared energy.

One carbon credit is equal to one ton of carbon. Many individuals are now taking an interest in their carbon footprints, trying to lower their usage, as well as trying different ways to offset their usage. Carbon credits are part of an approach to emissions trading. With a certain amount of greenhouse gas allotted to markets, each individual group is given the opportunity to decide how much of a limited amount can be designated to each area. This allows for industries to control the amount of greenhouse gases they are using. This also allows industrial and commercial processes to market in the direction of lower emissions, or approaches that are used to avoid emitting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This helps to finance carbon reduction schemes.

Many companies sell carbon credits. These carbon credits are sold to firms that voluntarily desire to lower their carbon footprint. Carbon credits are purchased from investment funds or carbon development companies. Many of these companies have saved these credits from other individual products, and offset themselves and the buyers by selling them. The quality of the credits is based on the validation process, the type of fund, and the development company. The price is also affected by these things. Voluntary units typically have less value than the units sold through the rigorously validated Clean Development Mechanism.

Carbon credits initially came into existence as an attempt to inform and create awareness of the need to control emissions. Since then, it has been proven that the concept of carbon credits can be highly successful. This tradable system is one of the policy instruments that are very effective. As long as prices are maintained it should continue to be positive.

It is possible to create real carbon credits. This is a supplementary principle that is involved within the Kyoto Protocol. This establishes that it is a Clean Development Mechanism, which is a flexible mechanism. This can develop real, measurable, and permanent emission reductions. This helps to establish that an emission of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas has truly been reduced and it involves a complex process. This process has evolved as the concept of a carbon project has been refined over the past 10 years.

Envirocitizen.org is a comprehensive ecommerce website that combines robust commerce, content, and community.  We believe that we have created the most comprehensive site to date to make eco-friendly products, services, and information available to individuals who wish to live a green, more eco-friendly lifestyle.  Our site offers a very broad and diverse array of eco-friendly products as well as comprehensive, authoritative information and environmental education.  Additionally, users can enjoy the sense of community created by participating in our Forum.

The Future Of Carbon Credits

Although the current investment climate for carbon credits is a bright one, the future could hold even more promise – in a very big way. As of now most of the industrialized countries in the world are working under some sort of carbon tax system as prescribed by the Kyoto protocols. However, the world’s three biggest polluters are not: India, China and the U.S. When these countries sign on to the protocols then the market should explode. What are the chances of this happening in the near future? It’s hard to say but it depends, as you may have guessed, on politics.

Politics in the U.S. to start, but also in China. First, though, U.S. President Obama has to make clear what he intends to do this year, if anything, on his carbon credit – or as it’s called in the U.S., cap and trade – policy. He started the year with a very positive agenda and seemed committed to making progress. However, since June his direction and resolve have seemed rather vague. And with the mid-term elections looming in November the situation becomes even more complicated. Republicans look poised to regain a majority of seat in the House of Representatives and also gain in the Senate. This could make passage of any kind of cap and trade legislation difficult because Republicans tend to favor big business and big business figures that cap and trade will cost them money.

So the direction forward in the U.S. will most likely be uncertain until after November 2. And even then it may take a considerable amount of time to get any legislation passed. But if laws mandating carbon offsetting ever do take place in the U.S. the effect on the carbon market will be immense. First, the U.S. itself is a huge market and the demand for certified carbon offset projects will skyrocket.

Secondly, there will be a knock-on effect in regard to China and India. Up until now, justifiably so, China and India have resisted signing on to Kyoto because of the U.S. refusal to do so. If the U.S. agrees, however, then there will be pressure on China and India to follow and it probably won’t take long for them to do so.

And in China’s case there is additional incentive because China is positioning itself as the world leader in green energy technology. It would be very difficult for China to continue on that path without at the same time ratifying the Kyoto protocols. Their rapidly developing stature in this field would be greatly enhanced by their ratification of Kyoto and their participation in some form of carbon emission control. The addition of China would also greatly increase demand as would India’s participation.

So what does the future hold for the global carbon offset market? It all may boil down ultimately to an election that will take place in the U.S. in about six weeks. Then again, it may not. Obama may not have the political capital or will to force through his carbon cap and trade policy even if the Democrats maintain their present level of control in the government.

His primary concern is the American joblessness problem and the economy as a whole so carbon may take a back seat no matter who wins in November. Until then, though, it’s anybody’s guess as to what may happen. Watch for an update after November.

 

 

Tom Aikins is a Bangkok-based consultant specializing in search engine optimization and internet marketing at http://www.seonorthamerica.com. He regularly presents seminars on these subjects and also writes about the carbon offset industry for the website http://www.carbonoffsetstandard.com.