Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Navigating American Carbon World 2011

Last week Global Green Carbon attended the NACW conference in Los Angeles, California. Not far from GGC’s West Coast offices, the nation’s largest annual carbon industry conference was very informative.

The NACW covered a wide variety of topics including regulatory issues, current market trends, protocol workshops, and featured many keynote speakers. Among the featured speakers were former governors of California Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gina McCarthy, the Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, Linda Adams, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Steve Schwartzman, Director of Tropical Forest Policy at Environmental Defense Fund, and Mary D. Nichols, J.D. chairman of the California Air Resources Board.

What was of most interest with regards to forestry is the continual discussion of the inclusion of international REDD projects into the CAR (Climate Action Reserve) protocols and the acceptance of those credits within CARB (California Air Resource Board) under AB32.

Some conference take-aways:

· The consensus seemed to be that international forestry projects, (primarily REDD) will be included under CARB over the second 3-yr term of 2015-2017. There is the possibility of Mexican forestry projects coming in sooner.

· The Mexican A/R, IFM and REDD forestry protocol is being developed right now under CAR and may be adopted as a protocol under CARB prior to 2015.

· There are working groups in place to create linkages (unit trading) between VCS accredited projects and CAR. Interestingly, CDM credits were not in the discussion.

· The hurdle with REDD is leakage and the requirement is for projects to be successful not only at the site specific project location but also within a broader assigned jurisdiction. This is a challenge for project developers in that the developer has no control over the variables impacting the jurisdictional level.

· The regions to focus on for international forestry to position for CAR and CARB are those under GCF due to subnational collaborations between California and 15 states and provinces in Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria and Mexico.

The NACW conference is in its 9th consecutive year. Originally established as the annual conference for the California Climate Action Registry, NACW grew in scope and scale and now has become American’s most important carbon event.

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