Investing In Our Future—People and Planet
 
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Newsletter|Summer 2013
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Welcome to The Climate Trust's 2013 Summer E-Newsletter! We hope you'll join us in celebrating the strides made toward building a safer and healthier climate this quarter.

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Investing In Our Future
Just as atmospheric carbon dioxide hit a record-smashing 400 parts per million—a concentration higher than at any other time in human history—President Obama announced his long awaited Climate Action Plan. The plan aims to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, provide international climate change leadership, and prepare the U.S. for climate-related disasters.

This is an exciting time for organizations such as The Climate Trust, who have been protecting our health and environment for over 15 years. And while the President's plan outlines a clear path for the country, The Trust will continue to test and grow climate solutions beyond the scope of this plan—culminating in innovations that will positively impact our world for many years.

Please read on for examples of our recent work around California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard; sectors such as grasslands and biochar; as well as our significant future investment in agriculture, biogas, and forestry projects. The potential for climate benefits in each of these areas is vast and we look forward to our continued exploration.
 
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$5 Million in Funding Now Available for Offset Projects
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Calling All Project Developers. The Climate Trust is seeking projects that will add to its growing portfolio and encourage and accelerate the implementation of agriculture, biogas, and forestry projects in the carbon market. The Trust prefers projects that produce 2013 and later vintage offsets, but will look at earlier vintages for a small portion of the total funding.

The Trust is looking for domestic offset projects, with a preference for projects in Oregon. Eligible projects reduce, avoid or sequester carbon dioxide, methane or nitrous oxide. Projects must also be able to attain third party certification under the American Carbon Registry, California Air Resources Board, Climate Action Reserve, or the Verified Carbon Standard. Lastly, proponents must be willing to negotiate and execute a mutually agreeable verified emissions reduction purchase agreement (ERPA) and transfer ownership of the verified emission reductions to The Climate Trust.

Download the full RFP and commercial transaction spreadsheet for submittal. Proposals are due at 5pm PT, Monday, August 19th. Still have questions? Please email:  TCTrfp@climatetrust.org.

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Donor Spotlight: Hess Corporation
Funding of The Climate Trust's Avoided Grassland Conversion (AGC) and Habitat Preservation work in the Prairies by Hess Corporation, has helped to deliver the first nationwide AGC methodology. This methodology will enable rural landowners to protect their grasslands from cropland conversion through financial compensation from environmental credits. A warm thank you to Hess for funding this important work at a time when family farms in the Dakotas are facing significant challenges due to weather events, food and commodity prices, and other economic issues.
 
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Did You Know?
The Trust Prefers to Keep Funds In-State
Working with Utilities. As the nation’s first compliance carbon provider and manager, The Climate Trust has a long history of meeting the unique needs of utilities and their stakeholders. To this day, we remain the only organization qualified to administer the Oregon Carbon Dioxide Standard, the first legislation in the nation to curb carbon emissions. New fossil fuel-fired power plants provide us with funding to comply with the law and we invest those funds into high-quality projects that reduce pollution.

But did you know that 60% of the money we invest on behalf of utilities stays in Oregon. That's over $5.5M invested in 15 Oregon-based projects throughout the state—projects that create jobs for Oregonians! To date, over 604,000 tonnes have been retired from these projects; projects that are expected to produce 1.7M tonnes of emission reductions over their contracted project life.

 
 60 percent
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Buzz from the Field: The GHG Benefit of Biogas Fuels
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From the desk of Program Manager, Peter Weisberg. For five years, The Climate Trust has focused on developing offsets from biogas projects. This expertise has, at times, led The Trust to stray beyond carbon markets—exploring the potential for new biogas projects in Oregon, suggesting additional policies to support the projects and exploring methods to overcome financing barriers for these capital intensive projects.

As state and federal tax credits and grants expire, biogas projects are increasingly looking to use biogas to fuel vehicles rather than generate electricity. As a part of this shift, The Trust has been working on two new emerging environmental markets—the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard—which aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector by requiring traditional fuel refiners to purchase credits from alternative fuel providers.

Biogas projects have the greatest greenhouse gas reduction of any transportation fuel because of their unique ability to both generate renewable energy and avoid potent greenhouse gas emissions. Both policies reward biogas projects financially for these large reductions, so the credits generated under these standards have the potential to drive investment into new projects. A new report, California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Compliance Outlook for 2020, forecasts “an estimated 10 percent of natural gas used as a transportation fuel will be coming from biogas due to the LCFS.” These new markets are therefore an essential driver for new biogas projects.

While these markets are nascent, The Trust is working with project developers to help them understand the potential value of credits for these standards—as well as the potential risks for projects that rely upon revenues from these markets. In 2013, both markets have been trading credits at historically high prices; so much so, that these credits can make up as much as 50% of the revenues generated by projects. Both policies are also under legal attack and may be changed substantially over the coming years—making it hard to obtain financing based on the uncertain future value of the credits.

The Climate Trust will continue to play a key role in advocating for these markets and working to ensure that project developers understand the value and risks posed by each.
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Follow That BLOG: Biocarbon, A Low-Hanging Fruit Overripe for the Picking

The Climate Trust's Senior Project Analyst, Teresa Koper, discusses agricultural practices that have the most immediate potential for making a significant contribution to protecting our climate—namely, biocarbon.

Find out more about this remarkable substance that is stored in plants and soils. Biocarbon can trap carbon that would otherwise enter the atmosphere as a carbon dioxide, one of the leading greenhouse gases that cause pollution.

This educational blog, made possible by our partner Climate Solutions, outlines some clear and promising steps forward.

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Biochar Greenhouse Gas Methodology Submitted to American Carbon Registry

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A revolutionary new tool will soon be available to help reduce the world's carbon dioxide emissions by sequestering carbon in soil, long-term. Financed by blue moon fund, The Climate Trust—in partnership with Prasino Group, International Biochar Initiative, and Carbon Consulting—jointly developed this exciting and first-of-its-kind methodology for emission reductions from biochar in the U.S.

In addition to holding great promise as a mitigation option for reducing the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, biochar also has the potential to enhance soil productivity. By using biochar in their fields, farmers can increase agricultural production while reducing the use of inputs such as fertilizers and water, and without increasing cropped area.

The first draft of the methodology has been submitted for approval under the American Carbon Registry (ACR) and will soon be available for public comment. Once approved, this market-ready protocol will serve as a resource for project developers to qualify their projects for carbon financing and then quantify their emission reduction benefits to bring much needed investment to the sector. Carbon financing will allow biochar project developers to monetize the climate benefit associated with making biochar, thereby incentivizing them to further develop the climate mitigation benefits of their projects. 

Biochar is an exciting opportunity to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, and we thank the blue moon fund for their investment & commitment. Stay tuned!
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Partner's Corner

Climate Trust Senior Project Analyst, Teresa Koper, Named to Prestigious ARB Rice Cultivation Technical Working Group!


Teresa is honored to serve on the CA Air Resources Board (ARB) working group and participate in the development of this exciting aggregation model. The model is highly applicable to advancing the NW agriculture sector as a source of offset supply.

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Please remember to support The Climate Trust's innovative programs & projects and continue to fight climate change in 2013. 

 

You can be confident your tax-deductible donations are spent wisely.

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65 SW Yamhill Street
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Portland, Oregon 97204
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