Environmental Markets Association holds Fall Meeting

The Environmental Markets Association held its annual Fall Meeting last week in Santa Monica, California.

Over three days, representatives from large utilities, brokerages, carbon registries and government agencies gathered to assess the current state of environmental markets in the US.

The event was co-sponsored by the American Carbon Registry (ACR), an organization that has applied to provide carbon offset administrative services for the California carbon market.

One session of the conference focused on the inaugural California carbon allowance (CCA) auction that will take place Nov. 14. Jim Buerkle, Director of Energy Contracts and Trading at Southern California Edison, provided the perspective of a large emitter that will purchase a large amount of CCAs in order to meet new emission regulations beginning next year. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) also participated in this discussion, expressing their confidence that everything is on track for a successful November auction.

Another meeting centered on the role that carbon offsets will play in the California carbon market. ACR California Director Belinda Morris warned that since the ARB has only approved four protocols to generate California carbon offsets (CCOs) there will be an insufficient supply to meet the demand of up to 200 million CCOs by 2020. Studies have shown that offsets are essential to containing costs in a cap-and-trade market, since offsets are typically purchased at a lower price than allowances.

The Environmental Market Association’s 16th Annual Fall Meeting provided an excellent venue for a diverse range of carbon market professionals to share information and prepare for what is sure to be a busy month before the launch of the California carbon market.