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Panel Resources: Forest Carbon & REDD Architecture

May 2, 2009
By admin

Forestry projects jump-started the global carbon offset market in the early 1990s, when environmental non-profits and industrial companies initiated partnerships to conserve and plant forests with the aim of balancing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by capturing carbon in trees. Although forestry transactions were the first-ever carbon offsets, they were soon sidelined in emerging global GHG regulations and a narrow band of forestry offsets were recognized under the Kyoto Protocol.

This left the voluntary markets to pick up the slack. Some buyers have been drawn to this tangible, land-based offset category and others have veered away from the complexities and risks of forest carbon offset projects. Over time, however, the role of forests in mitigating climate change has increasingly gained credence – thanks largely to the resolution of scientific disputes over how to measure and monitor the amount of carbon captured in trees, as well asgrowing political consensus on the need to reduce emissions as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

This acceptance has begun to impact global climate policy. In 2007, at international climate change negotiations, the Bali Action Plan laid out a strategy for developing consensus on how to recognize reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD). In 2009, the Copenhagen Accord explicitly stated the need to develop mechanisms that would reward sustainable land-use practices that capture carbon in trees. Around the same time, landbased carbon offsets were explicitly included in the text of proposed US climate bills. These regulatory developments have the potential to stimulate tremendous demand for land-based carbon credits.

Currently, the forest carbon market is diverse on both the supply and demand fronts. Many offsets have been developed and purchased
purely for the sake of philanthropy, while others have been created as commodity products to be sold as units of trade on global regulated and voluntary markets. In this context suppliers employ significantly varying project designs, methodologies and implementation strategies to create credits.

To read the full State of the Forest Carbon Market report, click here

Panel Resources: State of Emerging Voluntary Markets

May 2, 2009
By admin

There are many fundamental questions about the the state of the current voluntary carbon markets such as transaction volumes, credit prices, project types, locations, and themotivations of buyers in this market.  Over the past several years, these markets havenot only become an opportunity for citizen consumer action, but also an alternativesource of carbon finance and an incubator for carbon market innovation.There are many fundamental questions about the the state of the current voluntary carbon markets such as transaction volumes, credit prices, project types, locations, and themotivations of buyers in this market.  Over the past several years, these markets havenot only become an opportunity for citizen consumer action, but also an alternativesource of carbon finance and an incubator for carbon market innovation.

As the voluntary carbon markets have rapidly gained traction, the answers, to these questionshave become increasingly important to investors, policymakers, and environmentalistsalike. For example, since the last edition of this report, we have seen various U.S. climate bills make reference to voluntary carbon offset standards, the Japanesegovernment launch a voluntary carbon-offsetting scheme, and the U.K. governmentissue an official definition of “carbon neutral.”

Proving the legitimacy of carbon offset projects remains a major issue in themarketplace, leading to a so-called “flight to quality.”  Last year saw further establishmentand greater functionality of voluntary offset standards; the emergence of new registries; the forging of new partnerships between infrastructure providers; the formation ofcoalitions to encourage self-regulation; and increased market transparency.

At the same time, existing and potential voluntary market consumers became more sophisticated asliterature and education around offset quality increased. All of this points to a furthermaturation of the market in 2008. However, simultaneously, the voluntary carbon markets, like any other commodity market, were not immune to the over-arching forcesof the economy and regulatory developments.

To read the full State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets report, click here

Panel Resources: Climate & Landuse Looking Forward

May 2, 2009
By admin

Mitigating Climate Change Through Food and Land Use

More than 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions arise from the land use sector. Thus, no strategy for mitigating global climate change can be complete or successful without reducing emissions from agriculture, forestry, and other land uses. Moreover, only land-based or “terrestrial” carbon sequestration offers the possibility today of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, through plant photosynthesis.

Link to the full article by Ecoagriculture Partners here

Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land Change, and Forestry

This report on Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry(GPG-LULUCF) is the response to the invitation by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to develop good practice guidance for land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF).

Read the full article published by the IPCC here