Green Assets attends Navigating the American Carbon World Conference
The Green Assets team was well represented at this year’s Navigating the American Carbon World (NACW) Conference as President Hunter Parks, CEO Chris Newton, General Counsel Gardner Altman, and Director of Operations Chris Bordeaux made the trip to San Francisco.
The Climate Action Reserve (CAR) hosts the annual seminar to offer stakeholders from across the market an opportunity to gather and share the obstacles and opportunities they have encountered. As one of only two Offset Project Registries (OPRs) approved by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to monitor carbon offset project, CAR is especially qualified to moderate the conference events.
This year’s NACW featured a tour of a forest carbon project that was developed near the conference area. Chris Bordeaux observed the measurement techniques employed by the Lompico project developers, ensuring that Green Assets uses the best equipment and methodologies as we conduct carbon inventories on our landowner’s properties. Chris also had the opportunity to speak with CAR and an ARB-approved verification body about their experiences with California compliance projects to date.
Another workshop offered at the conference focused on the California Compliance Offset Protocol (COP). Green Assets has been developing projects in accordance with the COP for US Forests to ensure that the carbon credits we generate are eligible for use in the California market where they receive the highest value. An in-depth understanding of the technical nature of the COP allows Green Assets to maximize the value of each project.
The progress of the Pacific Coast Collaborative was also featured at the NACW. The Governors of California, Oregon, Washington, and the Premier of British Columbia signed an agreement to align their climate policies to reduce emissions, while also establishing a carbon price. California’s economy-wide carbon market already expanded this year when it linked with Quebec. Quebec is expected to increase demand for carbon allowances and offsets since they have set an emissions reduction target even more ambitious than California’s. A joint auction between the two jurisdictions is planned for later this year, further increasing the size of the world’s second largest carbon market.
Market participants from regulators, conservation groups, economic analysts, and government agencies discussed the current state of the North American market and what challenges lie ahead. The Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Protection Agency noted that action must be taken to conserve our natural resources. California businesses facing compliance obligations this year like Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE), Shell, and the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) outlined some of the steps they have taken to address their emissions. For example, PGE, SMUD, and other regulated companies have already issued Request for Offers for carbon credits. Green Assets met with a number of parties interested in purchasing carbon credits produced from some of our forest projects.
Analysts, carbon project developers, and project registries voiced concerns that the supply of ARB-approve carbon credits may fall well short of demand as time goes on. Over 200 million carbon credits could be demanded by 2020, but only 7.5 million have been issued so far. The lack of supply of carbon credits could lead to a spike in costs for businesses facing compliance obligations in California.
As always, the NACW conference provided a one-of-a-kind venue for representatives from industry, government, and academia to share their thoughts on the North American carbon market. A very positive attitude was evident at each event based on the continued success of the California market. Participating in this seminar gives Green Assets the unique perspective that allows us to ensure efficient and effective project development for our landowners.