Carbonomics® is a leader in helping businesses realize the potential of carbon credits in the US and international emission-trading markets. Carbonomics identifies greenhouse-gas (GHG) reduction opportunities, determines how projects can generate carbon credits, and guides companies through the entire process - from project inception to annual verification.
Carbonomics® also helps local governments set up community choice programs that accelerate renewable energy development and reduce GHGs.
The US Market
While the international offset market is relatively mature, the US is still in its early days. With no mandatory cap-and-trade program in place, the market is primarily filled with voluntary or "pre-compliance" buyers. These buyers may be hedge funds or investment banks betting that the price for voluntary offsets will rise if they can be used for compliance in a future cap-and-trade regime. Other buyers are companies that want to be "carbon neutral" or face a potential cap if and when a federal law in passed. These are the companies interested in voluntary offsets, albeit at lower prices than the CDM market.
With all of the policy uncertainty, what should potential sellers of offsets do? Should they register their projects on the American Carbon Registry or the Verified Carbon Standard? If so, which registry should one go to? What about the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and California's Climate Action Reserve (CAR) offsets programs? What types of projects are most likely to have value in the marketplace and/or be eligible under a federal program? What can companies do to increase their chances of realizing carbon value? And could sellers who are themselves large GHG emitters be subject to federal legislation? Given all of the uncertainty, it can be difficult for companies to decide which way to go. Carbonomics provides the insight needed to make informed decisions and helps companies chart the best course in this uncertain environment.
Even with this uncertainty, voluntary buyers are out there. As the graph below show, the voluntary carbon market has been growing rapidly, reaching an estimated $705 million value in 2008. Even in the midst of deep recession, the value of the voluntary market nearly doubled in 2008.
The various registries - where project developers can place their offsets for banking and selling – all have one thing in common: they require a peer-reviewed, thoroughly-vetted methodology for determining the baseline and calculating emission reductions. These methods are also known as protocols and are a basic element in turning a GHG reduction into a "monetizable" credit. These registries, whether it be VCS, CAR, ACR or others have a rigorous application, baseline validation and annual verification procedure to ensure the offsets are absolutely credible.
Carbonomics has the expertise to guide clients through the entire process – from initial project screen to registration and verification. Many project types, such as landfill gas capture and composting, already have established protocols, either in the US or under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. However many projects do not fit neatly under a pre-approved protocol and require some kind of deviation or amendment in order to be placed on a registry. Other project types may not have an eligible protocol, in which case one needs to be written, reviewed and approved. Carbonomics has expertise in all of these areas and can guide a client through the process of creating a new offset methodology – in essence, bringing a new carbon “asset class” to the market. For clients who can reduce GHG emissions, Carbonomics can provide an analysis about whether a protocol is available or needs to be drafted – and assess the likelihood of approval given the current status of protocol development in the US.