New Global Emissions Benchmarks, C-GEO, Launched by CBL

Xpansiv’s CBL marketplace is the world’s largest exchange for carbon credits, RECs, water, and Digital Fuels. They have just launched their newest emissions benchmarks, Core Global Emissions Offset (C-GEO).

Within one day, transactions covered 127,207 metric tons of carbon.

Initial buyers of C-GEO.

Buyers were Carbon Growth Partners, Chevron USA Inc., EKI Energy Services Ltd., Fathon Energy LLC, Mercuria Energy America, LLC, Radicle Group Inc., and Virdiros Capital.

According to Manish Dabkara, CEO and CMD of EKI Energy Services, “The state-of-the-art platform is a great enabler for global companies like us as we continue our stride toward making the planet greener with our strategic and sustainable solutions.”

CBL’s existing benchmarks.

Existing CBL benchmarks include the Global Emissions Offset (GEO) and Nature-Based Global Emissions Offset (N-GEO).

Ben Stuart, Chief Commercial Officer at Xpansiv, said, “The GEO and N-GEO have been a tremendous success in enabling greater market transparency, price discovery, liquidity formation, and risk transference, proving the benefits of standardized benchmarks in voluntary carbon.”

Stuart went on to say that “The C-GEO contracts are the latest evolution of our product design to enable markets to more effectively scale to meet critical net-zero goals.”

How C-GEO works.

There are two parts to C-GEO: C-GEO-1 and C-GEO-2.

Credits with C-GEO-2 are on a rolling schedule. So older credits will no longer be available as CBL adds new ones. This will help CBL set up long-term contracts.

C-GEO-1 is separate. It will collect credits that roll off so participants can still trade older credits since there still are some benefits.

Why Carbon Credits?

The carbon credit industry is booming as companies search for simple ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Even world leaders see the value of carbon credits. At COP26, world leaders agreed to set a global standard to improve the carbon marketplace.

Because of this, many believe the carbon credit industry could be valued at $100 billion by 2030. This is up from a value of just $300 million in 2018.

There are approximately 100 million credits available with C-GEO-2 – quite a bit more than  GEO and N-GEO.

C-GEO has around 57 million credits available.

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Growing Cover Crops for Carbon Credits

Cover crops are growing in popularity to fight climate change. They now account for twenty-two million acres of land, a 43% increase from past years.

So, what exactly is a cover crop?

A cover crop is a crop planted without harvesting.

While that may sound silly, farmers can benefit from doing this. Cover crops can restore soil and reduce erosion. Plus, they remove carbon from the atmosphere. Because of this, when farmers plant cover crops, they qualify as a carbon offset project. This means the crops can generate carbon credits and create additional revenue.

Popular cover crops include barley, oats, legume, radishes, and rye. Some crops are converted into biofuel or fed to animals. However, leaving the crops to break down in the soil is best for the environment.

Companies, including Bayer, Land O’Lakes, and Cargill, Inc., launched carbon farming programs to offset their own carbon footprint. These programs pay farmers to capture carbon through cover crops.

For example, in 2021, Truterra (a Land O’Lakes subsidiary) paid $4 million to farmers for cover crops – capturing 200,000 metric tons of carbon.

Some critics say cover crops could cause an issue with the supply of seeds. They are also worried that the use of farm chemicals will increase. However, many environmentalists believe that the benefits of cover crops outweigh any risk.

Many in congress recognize the role cover crops can play in reducing carbon.

The Build Back Better legislation put forth by the Biden Administration allocated $28 billion for land conservation programs. $5 billion is to pay farmers and landowners to plant cover crops.

Right now, no one is sure if the bill will pass.

Estimates say by 2030, between 40 and 50 million acres of land could be cover crops.

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Feeding Seaweed to Cows Could Eliminate Methane Emissions 40%

Prince Edward Island farmer, and founder of North Atlantics Organics, Joe Dorgan, has found that seaweed makes cows less gassy.

Based on his research, feeding cattle seaweed can reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 40%.

Methane gas accounts for 30% of global warming. One-third of that is from livestock pollution. So, the less gas that cows emit, the better it is for the environment (and anyone standing nearby).

Let’s put it this way: one adult cow has the potential to emit the same amount of gas as a small car. And, since the human population is increasing, the number of cows to feed them is growing too. The result? More greenhouse gas emissions.

Rob Kinley, the chief scientist of Futurefeed and a researcher who worked alongside Dorgan, said red seaweed can do even more. Based on Kinley’s research, when red seaweed was fed to livestock, it eliminated almost all their methane emissions.

According to Kinley, “We started testing seaweeds from coastal Australia, and it wasn’t long before the Asparagopsis species showed up, and it showed up in a big way. So big that we didn’t even believe what we were seeing. It took multiple runs of testing this before we believed what we were seeing, which was we couldn’t find methane anymore.”

The only challenge is harvesting it.

However, scientist Josh Goldman, the project leader at Greener Grazing, believes that harvesting seaweed may not be that hard to do.

It only takes 90 days to cultivate seaweed. This means that multiple batches can be produced each year. Plus, if farmers just place .2% of seaweed into the cow’s daily rations, they could:

A.) Save money on cow feed
B.) Be used to sell carbon credits

Practices such as this can reduce our carbon footprint and help farmers earn more money.

Right now, there are approximately 1.5 billion cows worldwide.

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Denmark’s domestic air travel to be carbon neutral by 2030

Denmark plans on voting in a Carbon tax to set a price for carbon emissions against the backdrop of rising global temperatures.

The Danish PM announced in his New Year’s address that by 2025 Denmark would have the opportunity to fly green on a domestic route. And by 2030 all domestic air travel will be carbon neutral.

The PM acknowledges that the task is difficult but not impossible and didn’t specify how air travel was to be carbon neutral.

It is expected this could include a combination of carbon credits and possibly electric-powered aviation for shorter domestic excursions.

Copenhagen plans to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital city by 2025, with Copenhagen airport becoming emission-free by 2030, and transportation to and from the airport becoming emission-free by 2030.

Elsewhere in Europe, Air France has announced plans to reduce domestic short-haul capacity on some routes, and several airlines have reduced domestic flights.

Sweden has committed to making domestic flights ‘fossil-free’ by 2030. It implemented differentiated landing taxes at major airports starting January 1, 2022, based on the aircraft’s climate impact.

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How You Can Benefit From the Booming Carbon Credits Market

As you might have heard already, last year was an incredible one when it comes to voluntary carbon markets.

According to the analysis group Ecosystem Marketplace, the value of the market has reached one billion dollars already.

Best part?

We’re still only at the beginning.

And with big events such as the COP26 taking place and setting rules for companies…

The demand for carbon offsets will keep on getting higher in the years to come.

The Paris Agreement means that the carbon market will need to grow a hundred times bigger by 2050…

And the big players are getting in as well, including the big banks like HSBC and Barclays.

Now, we’ve been talking about understanding what carbon credits are for some time, but there’s a few questions that we keep hearing.

Let’s tackle them in order.

1. How Do You Get Carbon Credits?

The long answer would be planting an entire forest, getting the government’s seal of approval, and then selling the obtained credits to companies.

Luckily, there are other options.

For the quick reminder, a carbon credit represents 1 ton of carbon dioxide – CO2 emissions – removed from the atmosphere.

This can be done through several methods, such as planting forests, waste management or wastewater treatment.

When it comes to getting carbon credits, a lot depends on location.

And on top of that, carbon credits were controversial for years.

In the US, cap-and-trade programs are emerging, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or the Western Climate Initiative, which is a joint program with Quebec.

And while national programs did exist in some countries such as Canada or Australia, private markets grew alongside them.

So another option for getting carbon credits is to buy them individually.

You can do this through third-party websites such as Nori, GoldStandard or Southpole.

In Europe – which is home to the largest carbon market – the EU ETS framework is used, and works on cap-and-trade as well.

Which brings us to our second question.

2. Can I Sell Carbon Credits?

If the country you reside in allows you to, you can sell your carbon credits to the government.

This is the case in the UK, Australia or Canada.

In the US, it is not possible yet.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t sell carbon credits. It means that the markets are organized by public and private companies.

And it does not mean less money, at all.

After all, selling carbon credits is part of the way Tesla got so far ahead, for one.

Since the carmaker receives them for free – in the form of credits for vehicles that emit fewer amounts of CO2 – they are able to sell them for a full profit.

Who do they sell to…?

The competition, basically. Large carmakers are the buyers, such as Stellantis, who bought more than $2 billion worth of European and U.S. credits from Tesla in the last two years.

And as regulation tightens around carbon emissions, you can be sure that you will see more and more companies basing their profit around carbon credits.

And while it may be easier to buy them for a company, an individual can do so too.

We just touched on the subject briefly, so here’s the last one.

3. Are Carbon Credits Worth Anything?

We answered part of this question by mentioning the growing demand as well as Tesla’s example, but that’s not all there is.

You probably already know that the carbon markets are growing at an incredible pace, but you may wonder where that leaves the credits themselves.

Because buying carbon credits can seem complex, and the prices vary based on market dynamics, it can be hard to estimate what they are worth exactly.

According to Ecosystem Marketplace, the average weighted price for one carbon credit – one metric ton of CO2 removed – is around $4.73 in 2021.

That’s only one estimate, of course, and others price it higher.

Considering the demand for carbon offsets is expected to rise as we get closer to net zero, the prices will grow accordingly.

How much?

Well, according to a study named Future Demand, Supply and Prices for Voluntary Carbon Credits – Keeping the Balance this growth in demand should mean that carbon credits should rise to between $20 if we take their lowest estimate …

To $50 per metric ton by 2030.

Which would mean a more than tenfold increase.

That would also mean a $100-180 billion market by 2030, according to this study as well as Bloomberg Green.

What’s more is that offset prices are likely to continue growing for the foreseeable future.

In conclusion, while the carbon market is still a relatively new one, – and to some still a “wild west” – it is a growing one.

While the future may hold surprises and maybe the reliance on offsets will lessen as we develop new ways around the issue, one thing is clear.

Carbon credits are here to stay.

If you want to learn how to invest money in carbon credits, you can read our in-depth article about it.

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