Carbon News Updates
US cancels Brazilian debt for forest protection (Point Carbon, 13 August 2010)

The US and Brazil have signed a debt-for nature agreement that will see the US erase $21 million of Brazil’s debt in return for Brazil using the money it would have owed to protect its rainforests. Made possible under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act of 1998, the US has signed 15 other debt swaps with Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jamaica, Panama (two agreements), Paraguay, Peru (two agreements), and the Philippines.

VCS streamlines programme guide (Point Carbon, 12 August 2010)

The VCS has published an updated programme guide outlining requirements for offset projects and methodologies, streamlining all its rules and updates into a single document. The VCS has also developed standalone guides for its agriculture, forestry and other land-use (AFOLU) and ozone-depleting substances project requirements. Besides containing an overhauled procedure for appeals and complaints, the new guide also has revisions to a proposed mechanism to financially compensate methodology developers. The guide is open for public comment for a period of 60 days until 10 October, with the VCS Association expecting approval of a final document by January 2011.

New VCS REDD project design moves closer to VCS approval (Point Carbon, 12 August 2010)

A new blueprint for REDD projects – a "mosaic" methodology being developed by Terra Global Capital and Community Forest has moved closer to being approved under the VCS. The methodology establishes how to set a baseline using a land-use change model that draws on data on historical land-use change in a reference region and addresses leakage. The methodology also details carbon accounting procedures and can be used for various projects to prevent the loss of forests to farming, logging and fuel wood collection. Mosaic patterns of deforestation occur most frequently in southeast Asia and Africa, where this methodology is expected to be widely applicable. Having cleared its first validation, the design blueprint will now go through second validation before it can start to issue VCS-endorsed credits. Besides the mosaic project, five other REDD methodologies are currently undergoing the VCS double-approval process.

Gunvor and JP Morgan in first 2020 EUA trade (Carbon Finance, 11 August 2010)

The first cleared trade of 2020 vintage EUAs on the European Climate Exchange was brokered by Tradition on August 6, with credits being traded for €22.72 ($29.38) each. The complex structure of the deal included included contracts with other delivery dates within phase 3 of the EU ETS.

APEC makes climate change pillar of growth strategy (Point Carbon, 9 August 2010)

Ministerial-level and other government officials from 21 APEC member countries (which includes the US and China) participating in an APEC policy meeting reaffirmed their commitment to mitigating climate change. According to a chair’s statement that was issued after the conference, “[i]n order to shift to a green economy, APEC should further promote energy efficiency and the development of a low-carbon energy sector.”