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San Diego County 100 pct Carbon Offsets Program Nixed (Reg & Leg)
California Carbon Offset
Date: 2020-06-19
In the Golden State, the LA Times is reporting the 4th District Court of Appeal in San Diego last week ruled against San Diego County's Climate Action Plan and its 100 pct carbon offset provision which the county was hoping would entice developers to housing projects on undeveloped land throughout unincorporated territory.

State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra's office argued against the county's offset scheme on the grounds that it could undermine the state's goals of slashing carbon emissions by 40 pct by 2030 and 80 pct by 2050.

The court noted that while the state has strict rules for monitoring and ensuring that offsets represent real reductions in greenhouse gas, the county had no such quality controls. Additionally, while the state's program has been largely limited to offset projects in the United States, San Diego county's program would have allowed the use of offsets generated anywhere around the world.

The court also pointed out that the state's program under cap-and-trade has only allowed businesses to cancel out up to 8 pct of their emissions using offsets, while the county program would have allowed projects to offset upwards of 100 pct of their carbon footprint.

While California allows businesses to use offsets under the cap-and-trade program, the state still counts those canceled-out emissions as part of its overall carbon footprint. Offsets were included simply as a cost-containment mechanism under the larger emissions-trading program, the LA Times noted. (Source: LA Times, 17 June, 2020) Contact: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, (916) 210-6000, oag.ca.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Carbon Offset,  Xavier Becerra,  California Carbon Offset,  California Cap-and-Trade,  


Trump's Emissions "Political Vendetta" Lambasted (Ind. Report)
CARB
Date: 2019-10-25
In the Golden State, the US Justice Department (DOJ) is claiming the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) regional greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system is unlawful because it included the Canadian province of Quebec. The DOJ cited the constitutional prohibition on states making their own treaties or agreements with foreign governments.

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom didn't miss a beat when he responded from Sacramento saying the Trump DOJ move was a "political vendetta" and only one in a series of acts against a liberal state government that has brought more than 30 environmental lawsuits alone, most of them to stop the rollbacks of climate change regulations enacted under the Obama administration.

"Carbon pollution knows no borders, and the Trump administration's abysmal record of denying climate change and propping up big polluters makes cross-border collaboration all the more necessary. This latest attack shows that the White House has its head in the sand when it comes to climate change and serves no purpose other than continued political retribution," Gov. Newsome noted. (Source, Office of Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom, NY Times, Various Media, Oct, 2019) Contact: Office of Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom, https://twitter.com/GavinNewsom, www.gov.ca.gov; California Air Resources Board, Melanie Turner, Information Officer, (916) 322-2990, melanie.turner@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cap-and-Trade,  California Cap-and-Trade,  California Air Resources Board ,  


Global Carbon Credits Index Launched in UK (Int'l Report)
IHS Markit, Climate Finance Partners
Date: 2019-09-27
London, UK-headquartered information and analytics provider IHS Markit reports the launch of its Global Carbon Index, the first benchmark for the global price of carbon credits.

The Index tracks the performance of the largest, most liquid and most accessible tradable carbon markets -- the European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS), the California Cap-and-Trade Program, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The index is calculated using OPIS data and carbon credit futures pricing in those markets.

The IHS Markit Global Carbon Index was developed in consultation with Climate Finance Partners, a specialist in climate finance. IHS Markit is also well known for its daily OPIS Carbon Market Report, national carbon policies database and for developing industry standard methodologies for greenhouse gas accounting and disclosures. Its research and expertise on carbon policy impact, low-carbon and cleantech technologies and carbon risk management guide companies in energy, petrochemical, automotive, shipping, agriculture and other sectors critical to the global economy. (Source: IHS Markit , 25 Sept., 2019) Contact: IHS Markit, www.ihsmarkit.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News RGGI,  EU ETS,  IHS Markit Carbon Market,  Carbon Credit,  


California ARB Reports Cap-and Trade Cash Investments (Funding)
California Air Resources Board
Date: 2019-03-29
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) just released its annual report analyzing last year's investments made from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF.) The fund receives money from the state cap-and-trade program, which caps greenhouse gas emissions and auctions off "pollution credits" to industries.

In 2018, the GGRF invested $1.4 billion in various projects to reduce the effects of climate change in California communities. That was about double the amount spent in 2017. Since the program began in 2012, it has invested $3.4 billion in projects that are either completed or under way, with a total of $9.3 billion in the pipeline.

CARB estimates that the investments will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 37 million metric tons, about what would be produced by burning four billion gallons of diesel fuel, or "roughly equivalent to taking eight million cars off the road for a year." Cumulatively, last year's investments in energy efficiency are expected to save enough energy to power 15,000 homes for a year.

The report estimates GGRF investments are reducing greenhouse gas emissions at an average cost of about $75 per metric ton. The report lists details on how much has been invested in each GGRF program and highlights examples of what those investments are. Many are being built, but many more are in some planning stage and their full effect will not be felt for a number of years. For example, GGRF investments in the clean transportation sector include:

  • Community clean air grants, which help communities identify and evaluate air pollution sources;
  • Several programs for replacing polluting vehicles, including agricultural and freight vehicles and buses, and a program to replace rural school buses with electric vehicles;
  • Clean mobility options such as electric car-share, bike-share, and vanpool options in disadvantaged communities or for agricultural workers;
  • Support for transit including high-speed rail and the Intercity Rail Capital Program, which is helping transit and rail agencies modernize and update their systems and equipment;
  • The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program that funds interconnected transportation and housing projects to reduce car use.

    Cumlative Project Outcomes include: 10,000 home energy efficiency projects; 3,200 affordable housing units under contract; 500,000 acres of land preserved of restored; 50,000 trees planted in urban areas; 343,000 individual projects funded; 462 transit agency projects funded; and 67 pct of funding for projects benefitting priority communities ($1.5 billion)

    Download the California Air Resources Board Greenhouse Gas Fund expeditures report HERE. (Source: CARB, StreetsBlog, 27 Mar., 2019) Contact: California Air Resources Board, Melanie Turner, Information Officer, (916) 322-2990, melanie.turner@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov; CARB California Climate Investments, (800) 757-2907, info@caclimateinvestments.ca.gov, www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Air Resources Board,  California Cap-and-Trade,  


  • Calif. Cap-and-Trade Cash Supports rPlanet Recycling (Ind. Report)
    California Cap-and-Trade
    Date: 2018-10-19
    In Sacramento, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) is reporting approval of a $2 million California Climate Investment loan to El Segundo-based rPlanet Los Angeles LLC. The loan is in support of a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling facility in Vernon, California. The financing from the CalRecycle Greenhouse Gas Reduction Loan Program will enable rPlanet to transform 1,000 tpy of plastic scrap into packaging and reduce 1,500 metric tpy equivalent worth of of CO2 emissions.

    CalRecycle's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Loan Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program designed to put billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the environment. The loan program provides direct, low-interest loans to expand capacity or establish new facilities in California that use recycled materials in their manufacturing processes. (Source: CalRecycle, Recycling Today, Oct., 2018) Contact: CalRecycle, Scott Smithline, Director, www.calrecycle.ca.gov; rPlanet, info@rplanetearth.com, www.rplanetearth.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News CO2,  GHG,  California Cap-and-Trade,  


    Golden State Trumpets Climate Change Leadership (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
    Calif. Gov. Jerry Browm
    Date: 2018-09-21
    According to the Office of Gov. Governor Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown (D), California continues to lead the world in adopting innovative policies to fight climate change.

    In August, the state released its Fourth Climate Change Assessment detailing new research on the impacts of climate change and providing planning tools to support the state's response.

    Previously this year, Governor Brown issued executive orders to improve the health of the state's forests and help mitigate the threat and impacts of wildfire, and get 5 million zero-emission vehicles onto California's roads by 2030. Last year, the Governor signed landmark legislation to extend and strengthen California's cap-and-trade program and create a groundbreaking program to measure and combat air pollution at the neighborhood level.

    Under Governor Brown, California has established the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in North America; set the nation's toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants; and will reduce fossil fuel consumption up to 50 pct and double the rate of energy efficiency savings in buildings by 2030. Additionally, the state has met its 2020 target four years early, reducing emissions 13 pct while growing the economy 26 pct. From 2015 to 2016 alone, emissions reductions were roughly equal to taking 2.4 million cars off the road, saving 1.5 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel.

    Governor Brown has also helped establish and expand coalitions of partners across the nation and globe committed to curbing carbon pollution, including the Under2 Coalition, which includes 222 total jurisdictions on 6 continents, representing more than 1.3 billion people and $34 trillion in GDP. Members of the coalition have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 80 to 95 pct below 1990 levels or to less than 2 annual metric tons per capita by 2050.

    California and 17 other states collectively representing more than 40 pct of the U.S. auto market sued the U.S. EPA earlier this year to preserve the nation's uniform vehicle emission standards that save drivers money at the pump, cut oil consumption, reduce air pollution and curb greenhouse gases. (Source: Office of California Gov. Governor Edmund G. Brown, 17 Sept., 2018) Contact: California Governor Edmund G. Brown, (916) 445-2841, (916) 558-3160 - fax, http://gov.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Jerry Brown,  Climate Change,  California Cap-and-Trade,  California Carbon Market,  


    Ontario Greens Support Cap-and-Trade, Carbon Tax (Ind. Report)
    Ontario Carbon Tax
    Date: 2018-06-01
    Speaking in Ontario, Casey Laonde, the Canada Green Party candidate in the riding of Timiskaming-Cochrane said her party supports a cap-and-trade system where money collected under the system is re-distributed to taxpayers much in the same way that people now get a GST refund cheque.

    In the upcoming June 7 Ontario provincial election, the Progressive Conservative candidate, Doug Ford, is calling for the abolition of the sitting Liberal government of Premier Kathleen Wynne's carbon cap-and-trade program which, according to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, generated an estimated $471 million for the province in the first joint Ontario, Quebec, California cap-and-trade program auction held February 21, 2018. The funds will be invested in programs that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help families and businesses reduce their own emissions through the province's Climate Change Action Plan. (Source: Green Party of Canada, MyWestNippisingNow, 31 May, 2018) Contact: Green Party of Canada, www.greenparty.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Tax,  


    California Cap-and Trade Cash Keeps Coming In (Ind. Report)
    California Air Resource Board,CARB,Cap-and-Trade
    Date: 2018-05-25
    In the Golden State, the Air Resources Board (CARB) reports California's cap-and-trade climate change program generated almost $700 million for the state in the last quarter when all of the current-year pollution credits sold through the program.

    Before a deal last July between Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers to extend the program, it was set to expire in 2020, and businesses were hesitantly buying the program's credits -- the August 2016 cap-and-trade auction generated just $8.4 million. Following that auction, the state has sold out of every current-year credit offered and generated nearly $3 billion for the state over four quarterly auctions, compared to less than a billion dollars over the previous year. (Source: CARB, Capital Public Radio, 24 May, 2018) Contact: CARB, (800) 242-4450, helpline@arb.ca.gov, www.arb.ca.gov

    More Low-Carbon Energy News California Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Emissions,  Jerry Brown,  California Air Resources Board,  


    ClimeCo Awarded Project Developer of the Year Honors (Ind. Report)
    Climate Action Reserve
    Date: 2018-04-09
    Philadelphia-based ClimeCo Corporation reports it has been selectd as Project Developer of the Year by the Climate Action Reserve, in recognition for the Most Registered Carbon Offset Projects in 2017. The Climate Action Reserve (CAR), North America's premier carbon offset registry, presented the 2017 Project Developer of the Year Award for the Most Registered Projects, to ClimeCo Corporation during CAR's Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) annual conference. Award recipients were recognized for leadership to advance climate solutions and strengthen carbon markets through the development of successful carbon offset projects and permanent emissions reductions.

    ClimeCo has registered more than 15 million carbon offsets across 172 reporting periods. The company's offset volume stems from reducing greenhouse gas emissions through several project types, to include N2O Abatement, Destruction of Ozone Depleting Substances, Agricultural Methane Capture, and Organic Waste Composting.

    ClimeCo is a developer, broker and advisor of both voluntary and compliance grade environmental commodity market products across numerous project types, with specialized expertise in California cap-and-trade, voluntary market advisory and transactional services, and project financing of internal CO2 abatement systems. (Source: ClimeCo, PR, 6 April, 2018) Contact: ClimeCo, Bill Flederbach, President & CEO (484) 415-0501, nmarshall@climeco.com, www.climeco.com; Climate Action Reserve, www.climateactionreserve.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ClimeCo,  Carbon Emissions,  Climate Action Reserve,  Carbon Offsets,  


    Cap-and-Trade Auction Results Released (Ind. Report)
    Ontario
    Date: 2018-03-02
    The Ontario Ministry of the Environment reports the first joint Ontario, Quebec, California cap-and-trade program auction held February 21, 2018, sold 98,215,920 current (2016 and 2018 vintage) greenhouse gas emission allowances at $18.44(Cdn) and 8,576,000 future (2021 vintage) allowances at $18.34(Cdn). The auction generated an estimated $471 million to the Province of Ontario which will be invested in programs that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help families and businesses reduce their own emissions through the province's Climate Change Action Plan.

    The auction was administered by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, the Quebec Ministere du Developpement durable de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques and the California Air Resources Board, using services contracted by the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) Inc., with oversight from an independent market monitor to ensure the integrity of the process.

    Download a summary report of the results HERE. (Source: Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, PR, 28 Feb., 2018) Contact: Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Chris Ballard, Minister, Anna Milner, (416) 314-6736, Anna.Milner@ontario.ca; WEstern Climate Initiative, www.westernclimateinitiative.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Ontario Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Market,  Climate Change,  Carbon Emissions,  


    Appalachian State Offers Offsets for Future Forest Stewardship Workshop (Ind. Report)
    Appalachian State University
    Date: 2018-02-05
    Researchers from Boone, North Carolina-based Appalachian State University faculty are reporting receipt of Clabough Foundation funding to develop the OFFSET -- Offsets for Future Forest Stewardship and Education Together -- Workshop for forest managers landowners in the High Country and Blue Ridge Mountains area.

    The project aims to provide an overview of forest projects that can offset CO2 GHG emissions and the mechanisms for participation in forest conservation, reforestation, improved forest management and other related programs.

    The OFFSET Workshop will provide an overview and outline of specific carbon offset programs, voluntary and compliance carbon markets -- California cap-and-trade -- and the rules, regulations and guidelines for participation. Presenters will also outline different types of forest offset projects, describe the stages in the lifetime of a project, accepted carbon registries, carbon stock assessments, verification and current trends in the program. California's forest carbon offset program, baseline assessments of carbon stocks and an accounting methodology for forest offset activities that could occur in North Carolina, will also be covered. (Source: Appalachian Today, 29 Jan., 2018)Contact: Appalachian State University, http://earth.appstate.edu, http://rieee.appstate.edu


    The Future of Cap-and-Trade Program in California -- Brattle Group Paper Attached (Ind. Report)
    Brattle Group
    Date: 2017-12-11
    In a recently released discussion paper, The Brattle Group notes that over the long term, California's reaching it 80 pct decarbonization goals may require large increases in GHG prices in the absence of technological breakthroughs. Additionally, non-electric sectors, especially transportation, must play an increasingly important role in GHG emission reductions. The bulk of future reductions will likely be accomplished largely by complementary policies, but supplemented by price-driven reductions. The level of complementary policies and innovation in lower-cost, clean-energy technologies in the non-electric sector will have major impacts on future GHG prices, according to the paper.

    The potential for high future GHG prices highlights the importance of further improving the economic competitiveness of clean-energy technologies, such as bulk energy storage, and promoting more widespread adoption of electric vehicles. According to the Brattle discussion paper, despite significant projected additions of renewable generation, the electric sector is not likely to achieve full decarbonization by 2050.

    The Brattle discussion paper also notes that, given the current lack of federal support for a climate protection policy, similar approaches to GHG mitigation are being considered by other states and regions interested in pursuing policies for climate protection. For example, Quebec and Ontario have already joined California in the Western Climate Initiative's (WCI's) cap-and-trade program, and Oregon is considering an economy-wide cap-and-trade program and linkage to California as well.

    The Future of Cap-and-Trade Program in California: Will Low GHG Prices Last Forever?, discussion paper is available for download HERE (Source: The Brattle Group, PR, 5 Dec., 2017) Contact: The Brattle Group, (202 955-5050, (415) 217-1000, www.brattle.com

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Brattle Group,  California Cap-and-Trade,  Cap-and-Trade,  

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