Demand is picking up in the voluntary carbon credit market particularly from the United States, according to carbon offset retailers and brokers, reports Reuters.
The voluntary market operates outside mandatory emissions reduction schemes such as the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism or the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, relying on businesses to self-regulate their carbon emissions.
In October last year, industry players in the voluntary carbon market said they were unhappy with the lack of meaningful emission cuts, with only 34.69 million tons of retired carbon offset credits.
Brokers MF Global told Reuters it saw an increase in demand for Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) and Gold Standard credits this month.
Gold Standard spot voluntary emissions reductions were priced at about 6.50 to 7.50 euros (approximately $9 to $10.50) a ton, while Pure Voluntary Carbon Standard credits were priced at $2-$2.50, reports Reuters.
In Australia, the country is faced with the possibility of having no carbon offset standard on June 30, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Here’s the situation: The Australian government is dropping its Greenhouse Friendly accreditation program, which will be superseded by the government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and replaced by a new national carbon offset standard, reports the Sydney Morning Herald
The Greenhouse Friendly program is scheduled to end on June 30, at which point the carbon offset standard will come into force; however, it is uncertain whether the scheme will be passed by Parliament by June 30, according to the newspaper.
In addition, regulations governing forestry most likely won’t be released until after the scheme’s legislation is voted on by the Senate next week, which means once the Greenhouse Friendly program ceases so does any national accreditation program for forestry carbon offsets, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
In addition, Australia’s main opposition coalition is looking at a voluntary scheme that would buy carbon offsets from energy efficiency and forest projects as a way to break the deadlock on carbon trading laws in the country, reports Reuters.
While Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is urging the opposition to deliver a viable alternative, the chances of Rudd’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme laws passing is doubtful after two rejections last year, reports Reuters.
The opposition says Rudd’s mandatory trading scheme is an unfair burden on industry and a costly tax for consumers, reports Reuters.