Voluntary Carbon Market Stagnates: Report

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7th July 2010, 01:18pm - Views: 852





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Voluntary carbon market stagnates: report


Sales and investment in the voluntary carbon market have stagnated in the last six

months under the impact of Federal Government policy confusion, according to the

latest update of the Carbon Offset Guide.


Developed by Global Sustainability at RMIT University and EPA Victoria, the

Carbon Offset Guide is the most comprehensive and independent directory of

Australian offset providers, featuring details of prices, project locations,

descriptions and accreditation standards.


Global Sustainability at RMIT Director, Caroline Bayliss, said many of the 91

providers listed in the latest update had reported that sales and investment have

stopped growing.


“Based on our comprehensive surveys and follow-up conversations with offset

providers, it is clear that many are pessimistic about the future of Australian

abatement activity – that is, offsets produced from local projects,” Ms Bayliss said.


Many sellers of locally-sourced offsets are telling us that there is simply no

business, due to the impact of recent Federal Government policy changes.


“The businesses, governments and households that want to purchase locally-

sourced offsets are also telling us that they are losing confidence in the market.


“The clear consensus among the providers and consumers we deal with is that the

Federal Government must act urgently to fix these problems, or risk the failure of

Australian companies delivering domestic voluntary carbon abatement – and the

loss of jobs, innovative technologies and skills developed by those businesses.”


The Federal Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) – which

came into effect on 1 July – only covers abatement that does not count towards

Australia’s targets under the Kyoto Protocol, such as soil carbon projects.


Ms Bayliss said this left many current Australian offset projects, such as forestry

and energy efficiency, with no framework for certification.


“Providers are confirming that at present they cannot supply any Australian local

offsets that would comply with NCOS,” she said.


“The result is that companies and local governments that have made commitments

to go ‘carbon neutral’ must now purchase offsets from projects overseas. 


“Others that have not yet made such commitments, but want to buy local offsets

that make a difference to aggregate global emissions, are reporting that they are

simply opting not to purchase offsets at all.” 


7

July, 2010               

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MELBOURNE

BRUNSWICK

BUNDOORA 

FISHERMANS BEND

POINT COOK

HAMILTON

  HO CHI MINH CITY

HANOI


Ms Bayliss said NCOS had replaced the Greenhouse Friendly Program, which has

traditionally been the preferred option for certification of Australian abatement

projects


“Many providers have spent considerable effort and expense to achieve

certification of domestic projects and abatement under Greenhouse Friendly and at

present there are no arrangements to recognise this prior certification under

NCOS,” she said. 


Offset project developers have expressed a distinct lack of willingness to invest

further resources required to develop new offset projects and methodologies due to

this policy uncertainty, Ms Bayliss said.


“Since there are no established international accreditation methodologies for the

projects envisaged under NCOS, providers are not prepared to spend considerable

time and effort to develop a new methodology which may or may not gain

accreditation under NCOS,” she said.


The policy developments are outlined in the recent updates to the Carbon Offset

Guide.


The Guide is available online: www.carbonoffsetguide.com.au


For interviews: Global Sustainability at RMIT Director, Caroline Bayliss, (03)

9925 3344 or 0408 142 050.


For general media enquiries: RMIT University Communications, Gosia

Kaszubska, (03) 9925 3176 or 0417 510 735.








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