Carbon Markets and Biochar: An Offset Buyers Perspective
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Carbon Markets and Biochar: An Offset Buyers Perspective North American Biochar Conference August 10th, 2009. Peter Weisberg Offset Project Analyst [email protected] 503-238-1915. Outline. Theory of offsets How offsets could support biochar projects

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Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Carbon Markets and Biochar: An Offset Buyers Perspective

North American Biochar Conference

August 10th, 2009

Peter Weisberg

Offset Project Analyst

[email protected]

503-238-1915


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Outline

  • Theory of offsets

  • How offsets could support biochar projects

  • Current funding from The Climate Trust


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Source: The McKinsey Quarterly. 2007. “A cost curve for greenhouse gas reductions.”


Sequestration and carbon markets

Sequestration and Carbon Markets

  • Very little sequestration thus far:

    • No soils

    • Only reforestation/afforestation with temporary credits


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

US Offset Market

  • Trends

    • Fossil fuels will likely be capped

    • Favor domestic projects over international projects

  • Destroying methane emissions

    • Dairy digesters

    • Landfill gas capture

    • Wastewater treatment plants

    • Coal mine methane

  • Sequestration

    • Forestry

      • Afforestation/Reforestation

      • Improved Forest Management

      • Avoided Conversion/Deforestation

    • Soil Management

    • Biochar?


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Outline

  • Theory of offsets

  • How offsets could support biochar projects

  • Current funding from The Climate Trust


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

$ = CO2 Sequestered x Price

  • Low Quality US Projects

    • Chicago Climate Exchange: $2-$4

  • High Quality US Projects

    • Voluntary Carbon Standard: $4-$9

    • California Climate Action Registry: $5-$11

  • Mature International Markets

    • EU Emissions Trading Scheme: $10-$40

  • Projections for Early US Market

    • Markey-Waxman Bill : $10-$15


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Currently Available Methodologies

  • Avoidance of methane production from biomass decay through controlled pyrolysis

  • Small scale

  • No credit for carbon sequestration

  • Char must be “biologically inert”

    • Volatile C/Fixed C ratio lower than 50%


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Next Step: Sequestered Carbon

Carbon Gold methodology for proposed to the Voluntary Carbon Standard


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Unresolved Methodology Issues

  • Recalcitrance

    • Guarantee 100 years of permanent sequestration

    • Carbon Gold: Volatile C/Fixed C ratio lower than 50%

  • Erosion

    • What happens to char that erodes out of the soils?


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Unresolved Methodology Issues

  • Ownership – Three entities with valid ownership claims

    • Feedstock owner

    • Pyrolysis plant

    • Soil owner/Farmer using char

  • Can only be claimed once


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Unresolved Methodology Issues

  • No environmental harm

    • Heavy metals

    • Criteria air pollutants

    • Microbe health


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Unresolved Methodology Issues

  • Environmental impact

    • Heavy metals

    • Criteria air pollutants

    • Microbe health

    • Carbon already in soil


Resolved issue waste feedstocks

Resolved Issue: Waste Feedstocks

  • Leakage

    • Changes in emissions outside the project itself

  • Direct: Biomass fuel unavailable

  • Indirect: displace current farm land for biochar feedstock plantations  land use change

  • Carbon Gold: “biomass that would otherwise have been left to decay or been burned in an uncontrolled manner”


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Outline

  • Theory of offsets

  • How offsets could support biochar projects

  • Current funding from The Climate Trust


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

  • 3 Programs

    • Oregon Program

    • Smart Energy

    • Colorado Carbon Fund

  • 16 projects, $8.8 million in funding, 2.6 million tons of CO2offset

  • Non-profit

    • - Laboratory for innovative offset projects


Project development timeline

Project Development Timeline

Upfront Payment

Proposal

Contract

Negotiation

Annual

Monitoring

Due

Diligence

Commercial

Operation

Annual payment

“upon delivery”


Carbon markets and biochar an offset buyers perspective north american biochar conference

Peter Weisberg

Offset Project Analyst

[email protected]

503-238-1915 x 207


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