Could Carbon Markets Be Impacted Due to European Pipeline Freeze?

Germany has placed a hold on the Nordstream 2 underground natural gas pipeline, which runs between Germany and Russia. The channel is almost complete and operable.

This move by Germany will not impact the immediate supply of natural gas. However, it could affect Europe’s already strained natural gas resources – and impact carbon markets.

Natural gas and oil prices have increased.

Fears that Russia will withhold future natural gas have driven prices up to $90 per megawatt-hour. That’s an increase of 10%.

The price of oil – also a Russian export to Europe – rose 1.5% ($99.50 per barrel). This is the highest level Europe has seen since 2014.

U.S. natural gas prices also increased, though less than in Europe.

Luke Oliver, Managing Director and Head of Strategy at KraneShares, told ETF trends, “Halting certification of the Nordstream2 gas pipeline will put increasing pressure on natural gas prices, which in turn make fuel switching from coal to gas more expensive and increases demand for carbon allowances.”

Simply put, if the price of switching from coal to gas is higher, the demand on carbon markets may increase even more.

Oliver went on to say, “This puts pressure on the entire energy complex. This is no doubt positive for a carbon price, albeit sadly not necessarily positive for emission reductions.”

Per Oliver, “2022 has been an interesting year already for carbon markets. With new proposals around upper price band triggers, we’ve seen some volatility; however, our modeling would suggest that even IF the proposal was adopted, it wouldn’t meaningfully limit upside potential.”

Only time will tell how this will impact the energy sector and carbon markets.

Regardless of what will be, one thing is for sure: we all hope for peace in the region.  

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Chevron to Buy Renewable Energy Group for $3B?

According to various outlets,  Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) is closing in on buying Renewable Energy Group (NASDAQ: REGI) Inc. for ~ $3 Billion.

Chevron is looking at paying $61.50 per share for Renewable Energy according to the sources close to the deal.

Renewable Energy stock climbed over 36% in after-market trading on the pending news.

The official announcement could be made as early as next week, but the terms and talks could still fall through.

This would be a major push for Chevron’s energy transition into renewable fuels. Renewable energy demand is expected to grow in the coming years as organizations and governments follow through on their decarbonization pledges.

Chevron earlier stated they are tripling their low-carbon investments to $10 Billion through 2028.

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ESG Accounting Problems

The meteoric rise in ESG related debt is creating some accounting problems. Advocates are now urging for more regulations and rules with the increasing demand for ESG bonds.

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) bonds are debt instrument that has socially-responsible and environmentally-friendly criteria (such as low carbon emissions).

This affects the borrowing rate, the higher the ESG criteria the lower the interest rate.

According to Moody’s, the ESG bond market is poised to hit $1.4 trillion in 2022.

But the accounting rules for determining liabilities and assets are not keeping pace with the booming market.

The ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) found that many firms are applying different valuation models to their assets and liability.

This has the potential to “negatively affect the decision-making of financial market participants and thus the efficient functioning of capital markets” ESMA told Bloomberg.

ESMA expressed concerns that existing plans by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to oversee the market are not moving fast enough.

Many are asking for specific guidelines for valuing financial instruments whose interest rates change based on environmental, and social targets.

Most banks want IASB to adopt a standard that’s based on valuing an asset at a so-called “amortized cost”.

They say that using the “fair value” model can put risks making profit and loss statements more volatile.

Bloomberg found that back in September 2021, more than 25% contained no penalty for missing their ESG goals, and only a marginal discount if targets are met.

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How Do You Get Carbon Credits?

Wondering how you can get carbon credits?

You’re not alone. Many do – especially after seeing just how rapidly the industry has grown.

There are many reasons carbon credits are booming: increased regulation, improved standards, and accessibility are just a few.

So really, if you’re interested in getting carbon credits, it’s a great time to do so.

First of all, what are carbon credits exactly?

Carbon credits essentially represent metric tons of carbon. Simply put, one carbon credit allows or offsets one metric ton of carbon emissions.

The carbon market is where carbon credits are bought and sold.

There are two kinds of carbon markets: Compliance Carbon Markets (otherwise known as Regulatory Markets) and Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM).

Compliance Carbon Markets (Regulatory Carbon Markets)

Compliance markets are government regulated. The largest carbon compliance markets are in the European Union, China, Australia, and Canada.

With the compliance carbon market, the government tells various industries how much carbon they can emit. It’s then up to a company within that industry to stay under their allotted carbon amount.

The problem is, for some companies, staying within their permitted carbon threshold is simply not possible.

This doesn’t mean that they’re not committed to reducing their carbon emissions.

It just means that they can’t. Perhaps the tech to reduce or eliminate emissions isn’t available yet, or the tech to reduce or eliminate emissions isn’t accessible (it is too expensive to utilize, at least for now). It could be as simple as the electricity in their country being largely provided by fossil fuels.

That’s where carbon credits come in.

For example, Company A emits 150 metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere, but its government only allows it to emit 50. So, company A must do something to neutralize those extra emissions. It purchases 100 carbon credits (1 carbon credit = 1 metric ton of carbon) to offset that carbon.

Companies can purchase two different types of carbon credits on the compliance carbon market:

Permits to pollute; or
Project-based reduction credits.

A permit to pollute essentially says, “Hey, we went over our emissions, so we’re paying a fee for every metric ton of carbon above what we were allowed.”

It’s important to note that the fees can be pretty excessive, so this isn’t necessarily a get-out-of-jail-free card. The price for permits increases annually, and the permitted amount also shrinks each year to push industries to go green. The government aims to reduce carbon emissions – not for companies to continue emitting them. So, when companies must purchase permits to pollute, it isn’t exactly favorable for them to do so.

Project-based reduction credits work differently.

With a project-based carbon credit, a company offsets its carbon emissions by investing in environmental projects such as forestry and conservation, improved agriculture practices, and renewable energy. Take a look at the table listed below from Offsetsguide.org to get an idea of how carbon offset projects work:

One metric ton of carbon is offset from the atmosphere through environmental projects for every project-based carbon credit purchased. Therefore, these types of carbon credits are also known as carbon offsets.

This allows companies to do more than just buy permits to pollute. It enables them to do something positive to negate the extra emissions into the atmosphere. In other words, they’re becoming “carbon neutral.”

The good news is that project-based reduction credits aren’t just available on the compliance carbon market. Carbon offsets are the sole credit offered on the voluntary carbon market.

Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM)

What’s great is that when it comes to VCM, it isn’t just limited to companies in regulated areas.

Individuals and NGOs across the globe can purchase offsets too. That means that offsets are available to everyday consumers.

The VCM works differently because it is entirely voluntary. So, no government regulation or government mandate causes companies (or individuals) to purchase credits on the VCM. They’re simply doing so because they want to. They see the value carbon credits and offsets can bring to their organization and lives by making them carbon neutral.

Here is a chart from Climate Care that maps out the different carbon credits and market types.

(Climate Care is based in Oxford and Nairobi. They finance, develop, and manage carbon reduction projects globally.)

How are carbon credits and offsets verified?

While carbon credits for the compliance market are government regulated, carbon offsets for the VCM are not. That doesn’t mean that they’re not vetted – simply that they’re just verified by third parties.

Critics felt this process wasn’t stringent enough in the past, but verification methods have changed. It has become far more accurate due to new regulations agreed upon at COP26, standardized across the globe.

Third-party entities are non-profit organizations that ensure that customers receive what they are paying for. They measure the amount of carbon offset through an environmental project and interpret the data, giving any offset project with their seal a green light for approval.

Third-party verifications include the Verified Carbon Standard (managed by Verra), the Gold Standard, the American Carbon Registry (managed by Winrock), and Climate Action Reserve.

They’re committed to ensuring that offset projects are high-quality, so that those purchasing offsets aren’t throwing their money into something that isn’t real. Below are some of their standards.

Let’s look at Verra for a moment since many consider them to be the premier standard.

Verra has a network of auditors on hand to follow up on all Verra-approved offset programs. They oversee all operational aspects, aligning them with stringent standards as set by Verra. More importantly, these auditors are assigned to projects that align with their area of expertise. Because of this process, to date, more than 1,775 certified VCS projects have collectively reduced or removed more than 865 million tons of emissions from the atmosphere.

Where can you purchase carbon offsets?

As an individual, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to purchase carbon credits directly from the source (ex: a farmer). However, you can buy credits through a third party (through the VCM), so you have a few options.

You can choose to offset carbon when you make a purchase.

Many companies allow consumers to add “offsets” to their purchases to offset their emissions. For example, numerous commercial airlines are doing this so that their customers can fly in a green way.

Look at American Airlines, for example. Their non-profit, Cool Effect, allows customers to purchase offsets to reduce the impact of their flight. This is done during the checkout process, making it quite simple for any customer to use.

Other airlines, such as Delta, United, and British Airways, are doing the same.

You can buy carbon offsets individually, picking and choosing on websites such as Nori, Gold Standard, and South Pole.

Nori.

Nori works with individuals, companies, and NGOs, making purchasing offsets simple. For example, on Nori’s website, once you select “remove carbon” on the Nori homepage, you can enter the number of credits you would like to buy. Currently, they cost $15 each, with an additional 15% fee for processing.

If you’re a business owner, you can even use various tools that Nori has available to calculate your carbon emissions and purchase a subscription of offsets each month.

To date, 75,553 metric tons of carbon have been offset through Nori.

Gold Standard.

Gold standard is one of the oldest marketplaces, developed over a decade ago. They have created 2,300 projects in over 98 countries and have reduced 191 million tons of carbon.

What customers love about Gold Standard is the ability to narrow down projects based on what aligns with your own values. This makes the process of purchasing offsets very personalized.

South Pole.

South Pole has developed over 700 climate action projects worldwide. They have carbon calculators for individuals (and organizations) to calculate their carbon footprint that also help find projects that align with their needs.

If you’re a farmer or own land, you can produce carbon credits yourself to sell.

Anyone who owns or operates land can produce and sell carbon offsets to increase their profits while helping the environment. This is especially true of farmers and ranchers. This can be done by:

Conservation tillage or no-tillage practices,
Nutrient management and precision farming,
Returning biomass to the soil as mulch after harvest,
Planting cover crops off-season, as well as rotating crops,
Promoting forest regrowth and converting acreage into grasslands or woodlands,
Using flood irrigation systems instead of surface irrigation systems,
Alternating manure management and feeding schedules; and
Switching to alternate, renewable fuels that are low carbon.

A third-party expert from one of the verification sites listed above can then verify data from your property and conduct a site visit to see how many offsets your project is eligible to receive. Since the VCM is expected to expand rapidly over the next ten years (and through 2050), these projects have excellent earnings potential.

The price of carbon offsets is increasing.

With most of the world focused on hitting net-zero by 2050, carbon offsets are at an all-time high.

The reason why is that net-zero and neutrality goals can only be achieved with the help of massive carbon offset purchases. Demand is up, and supply is low. As such, the prices continue to increase. In fact, the current E.U. price for carbon offsets is at more than €80/ton.

Check out the volume, prices, and value of the market through August 2021:

California is the only state in the U.S. with a rigid carbon market – which is where most offsets are sourced. But other states are starting to take the lead.

So, the income potential is seemingly endless for farmers throughout Europe and the U.S. – where the carbon offset industry is growing.

What about green investments?

Investing in carbon credits, carbon ETFs, and carbon stocks is an excellent way to diversify your investment portfolio and also do something to help the environment.

The Fossil Free Fund is a great tool that you can use to help you identify mutual funds and ETFs that are environmentally conscious.

In addition to finding top-rated, green funds, you can search for funds that you currently have within your 401K, retirement plan, or personal portfolio to see if they are invested in the fossil fuel industry. This way, you can make changes if need be.

Another way you can start to make your investment portfolio greener is by searching for funds through companies committed to green initiatives – such as Tesla (TSLA) and Brookfield Renewable Partners (BEP).
Funds with carbon credit futures are another option. However, it is the riskiest because it is the least diverse.If you need more information, we have a  stock watchlist that you can use. Stocks include:
Carbon Streaming Corporation (NETZ.NE)
iPath Series B Carbon ETN (GRN)
iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF (CRBN)
KraneShares California Carbon Allowance ETF (KCCA)
KraneShares European Carbon Allowance ETF (KEUA)
KraneShares Global Carbon ETF (KRBN)
BlackRock U.S. Carbon Transition Readiness ETF (LCTU)
BlackRock World ex U.S. Carbon Transition Readiness ETF (LCTD)
SPDR MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF (LOWC)
VanEck Low Carbon Energy ETF (SMOG)
SPDR S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Reserves Free ETF (SPYX)
iShares Global Green Bond ETF (BGRN)
VanEck Vectors ETF Trust – VanEck Vectors Green Bond ETF (GRNB)
Hanetf ETC Securities PLC Spark (CO2.L)

Carbon Market Growth.

According to experts surveyed by the Taskforce for Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets (TSVCM):

“Based on stated demand for carbon credits, demand projections from experts… and the volume of negative emissions needed to reduce emissions in line with the 1.5-degree warming goal… the market size [for carbon offsets] in 2030 could be between $5 billion and $30 billion at the low end and more than $50 billion at the high end.”

Some experts even believe the VCM could reach $100 billion by 2030 – up from just $300 million in 2018.

Carbon credits help companies and individuals meet emissions goals. They can also help everyday farmers and landowners worldwide earn extra income. So, carbon credits serve both to spark economic development globally as well as a method of fighting climate change.

Carbon credits and offsets are a win for all.

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Renewable Energy to Evaluate Options as Carbon Certifiers Tighten Rules

Renewable energy’s goal has always been decarbonization. But, with renewable energy projects central to the carbon credit industry, the focus has changed.

In the past, companies used renewable energy projects to create carbon credits. These projects differed from their usual operations. Profits made were then put right back into those projects to keep them running.

But now, credits are worth so much more. The voluntary carbon market has reached $1 billion. This is up from just $300 million in 2018. Some experts think it could reach $100 billion.

As such, energy companies consider carbon credits a financial tool. So, they are no longer getting carbon credits for “extra” projects. Instead, companies are obtaining credits for projects that are a part of their original operating plan.

Carbon Certifiers respond with changes.

Some experts feel that the credits issued as a part of regular operations could negatively affect the carbon market. Because of this, many certifiers have said they will only give credits for renewables in countries that aren’t as developed.

Gold Standard said, “any national or a regional grid-connected Renewable Energy project located in an Upper Middle- and High-Income Country (as classified by the World Bank) shall be deemed ineligible for the issuance of GS-VERs or GS-CERs.”

Certified Carbon Standard agreed.

“Where certain project types have moved beyond their need to be supported by carbon financing, it is not appropriate for Verra to continue supporting such project types.”

Because of this shift, many project owners want other options. And the Renewable Energy Certificates market seems to be a good choice.

Renewables are the sole focus of RECs.

The Importance of renewables.

Research has shown that fossil fuels have caused the Earth’s temperature to increase .3 and 1 degree Celcius. In 2018, 89% of carbon emissions were from the fossil fuel industry. In 2019, GHG emissions were at 36.7 metric tons.

Since renewable energy is needed to fight climate change, incentives to switch to and produce renewables are essential.

Gold Standard and Verra have both said that their regulations on renewable energy credits do not apply to REC market certification.

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CBON – Ninepoint Carbon Credit ETF

 

The Ninepoint Carbon Credit ETF (CBON) came in hot on the heels of the Horizon ETF (CARB), with the former launching on the NEO exchange just a week after the latter.

Similar to CARB, CBON’s holdings are comprised entirely of carbon allowance futures. Where they differ, however, is that CBON provides exposure to a mix of the three leading carbon emissions trading schemes:

The European EUAs,
The Californian CCAs, and
The RGGIs of the northeastern U.S. states.

This makes CBON more similar to the previously mentioned top U.S. carbon credit ETF KRBN, which also holds a mix of futures for all three types of carbon allowances.

Ninepoint is a leading alternative investment manager focused on the clean energy economy. With this Fund, investors can access the global emissions market, which is expected to grow significantly over the next couple of decades.

An orderly energy transition supports Canada’s long-term energy leadership and is supported by various incentives. The investment community is also contributing to the success of this transition.

For Canadian investors looking for something with more balanced exposure to the compliance carbon markets instead of just the E.U.’s Emissions Trading System like KRBN, CBON is a good choice.

In addition, CBON has a second, U.S. Dollar-denominated listing – CBON.U. This is the exact same product as CBON, just trading under U.S. Dollars instead of Canadian Dollars.

For those carbon conscious Canadian investors who already have investments or savings held in USD, choosing CBON.U instead can help eliminate the currency risk associated with making an investment in CBON.

CBON Stock Predictions, Articles, and News

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Merger Creates North America’s Largest Carbon Credit Originator and Marketer

Bluesource, a provider of carbon credits, and Element Markets, a distributor of environmental commodities, have joined forces.

The new entity “TPG Rise Climate” will be managed by the alternative asset manager – TPG (NASDAQ: TPG).

TPG Rise Climate will be the largest creator and marketer of carbon credits and environmental credits in North America.

This transaction highlights the potential for consolidation in the market for ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) advisory services.

Bluesource advises businesses on how to minimize their carbon footprint by using carbon offsets and initiatives ranging from reforestation to wastewater treatment.

Bluesource previously announced a $500 million partnership with private equity firm Oak Hill Advisors to purchase timber forests for use in offset schemes.

Element Markets assists corporations in producing renewable natural gas while simultaneously providing carbon and other emission credits. Element Markets was acquired by TPG in January 2021.

There were no financial details disclosed except that NGP Energy Capital Management, another private equity firm, will also have a stake in TPG Rise Climate.

TPG Rise Climate business unit partner Marc Mezvinsky believes that “combining Element Markets and Bluesource will allow us to channel much-needed capital and solutions to deliver a robust supply of third-party-verified credits via nature-based sequestration, avoided nature loss, methane destruction, low-carbon fuels, and new and innovative pathways,”

Element Chief Executive Angela Schwarz, will lead the combined company and Bluesource co-founder Bill Townsend will serve as chief strategy officer.

TPG Rise Climate will employ approximately 150 people.

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Singapore to Go NetZero 2050 and Increase Carbon Price

To reach net-zero emissions, Singapore will raise the price of carbon. As such, heavy polluters will pay $50-$80 per ton by 2030.

Singapore plans to invest revenue in green technology.

According to Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, “Over the coming decade, we expect to see a greening of traditional sectors of our economy like aviation, energy, and tourism. At the same time, emerging green sectors like green finance and carbon services will grow in prominence.”

Singapore has not released information about who this will impact. However, regulations currently apply to facilities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon each year.

Singapore will stagger price increases – starting at $25 in 2024 and reaching $45 in 2026.

Though a positive step, some experts believe this isn’t enough to combat climate change. They think prices need to be closer to $160 per metric ton.

Singapore’s commitment to net-zero emissions.

Singapore’s goal is to reach net-zero by or close to 2050.

Last year, Singapore invested $55 million in 12 research projects. These projects involve carbon capture and hydrogen fuels.
By 2030, Singapore will issue $35 billion worth of green bonds to fund public sector projects.
Other projects include phasing out fossil fuel vehicles by 2040 (and setting up more charging stations).
Singapore will also auction carbon credits related to Africa, Asia, and Latin America projects through its voluntary global carbon exchange, Climate Impact X.

“We aim to move Singapore into the forefront of green technologies, where new innovations are developed, trialed, scaled up, and eventually exported to the rest of the world. We will work hard to grab the first-mover advantage,” Wong said.

Isaac Neo, a spokesperson for advocacy group Singapore Climate Rally, said that “The climate measures announced today during the Budget are a step in the right direction.”

“High-income countries like Singapore should achieve these goals even earlier to give low-income countries more time to transition,” Neo added.

Singapore plans to release more details over the coming weeks.

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CARB – Horizons Carbon Credits ETF

CARB.TO Stock Predictions, Articles, and News

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