Saturday, September 19, 2009

The value of "sky money" falls

From Tim Blair:

The rush for carbon millions – or sky money, as it’s beautifully known in Papua New Guinea – is slowing lately:
The legitimacy of the $100 billion carbon-trading market has been called into question after the world’s largest auditor of clean-energy projects was suspended by United Nations inspectors.

SGS UK had its accreditation suspended last week after it was unable to prove its staff had properly vetted projects that were then approved for the carbon-trading scheme, or even that they were qualified to do so.
The unqualified undone by the UN; perfect. Meanwhile, carbon prices keep dropping:
A poor economy and uncertainty about the fate of a climate bill on Capitol Hill made for a sharp drop in the price of carbon in the latest greenhouse gas auction by a coalition of 10 Northeastern states …

At the latest quarterly auction, held Wednesday, 28.4 million allowances sold for $2.19 each – down from $3.23 at the June auction and $3.51 in March … Another 2.2 million allowances sold for $1.87 each in a parallel auction of allowances that can be used in 2012. That’s down from $2.06 in June.
But the carbon market is holding up well in at least one sector, as Anthony Watts reports:
The SFO airport has now installed carbon offset purchase kiosks so that you can remove the guilt from your flight. Only one problem. The carbon offsets sold by kiosk sell at a rate that is about 60 times what carbon credits are actually selling for on the market now.
As Watts points out, you can presently buy a ton of carbon offsets on the Chicago Climate Exchange for just 20 cents. Yet an Australian company believes it can earn $1.6 billion by trading carbon offsets at a slightly higher rate:
Carbon Planet, in presentations to investors, says it has contracted 100 million carbon offsets over five years from projects in Papua New Guinea and 60 million over five years from Indonesia at an average of A$10 ($8.5) each offset, or credit.

The only possible way offsets can reach that value, of course, will be if emissions trading schemes are established. Follow the money.

[Yes indeed, when it comes to climate change in particular, or environmentalism in general, it does pay to follow the money.]

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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