CFTC Relies on CRS Letter in Finding that Environmental Commodities Should Not Be Regulated as Swaps
CRS applauds the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)'s issuance of certain rules earlier this month related to the implementation and enforcement of the Dodd-Frank Act. The act governs financial regulatory reform, subjecting "swaps" of financial commodities to intensive regulation and fines. The new rules confirm that environmental commodities (including carbon offsets, allowances, and renewable energy certificates) are non-financial commodities that can be physically delivered and consumed, and so do not qualify for inclusion within the agency's definition of a swap.
The rules cited comments submitted by CRS. You can view the rules here.
If you have any questions, please contact Robin Quarrier, CRS Counsel, robin [at] resource-solutions.org or 415-568-4285.
Renewable Energy Markets 2012
Early Bird Registration Ends August 3 for Renewable Energy Markets 2012
Early Bird Registration Ends in One Week, August 3, 2012, for Renewable Energy Markets 2012. The conference will be held at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. beginning September 23rd. REM is made possible only through the generosity of our sponsors, including the 2012 City Sponsor, Washington Gas Energy Services, and Presenting Sponsor NextEra Energy Resources. The conference is already shaping up to be the most engaging, exciting yet in its 17-year history. Be sure to register now and get on the list (below) for important conference, event, and hotel announcements. And check the Renewable Energy Markets website for the latest information for your trip to D.C.
Join the Green Power Party
You don't want to miss the best party of the year, and it's only open to REM attendees. The Green Power Party, sponsored by Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) is more than just a great party, it's a great party attended by all the renewable energy industry's movers, shakers, pushers, pullers, nudgers, and drivers. Taking place in the beautiful Union Station on Monday night, it's where you'll want to be.
NEXT WEBINAR: Carbon Offsets 101
August 9, 2012. 12:00 p.m. PT. This essential introduction to carbon offsets covers the basics of how offsets work and provides an overview of the global voluntary market. This hour-long webinar will cover offset terms and definitions, project types, quality criteria, project standards and credit certification, and retail offset transactions and product certification. We'll also cover the state of and trends in the voluntary marketplace, and an overview of different players in the market.
||Carbon Offsets 101
||Green-e Climate Staff
||Thursday, August 9, 2012 Noon PT/3PM ET
Travelogue: Robin Quarrier in Mongolia
In July, CRS Counsel Robin Quarrier was invited by the American Embassy in Mongolia to speak at the International Women's Leadership Forum in Ulaanbaatar where Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the keynote address. Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, ranks as one of the most polluted cities in the world. Much of the city's heat comes from burning of coal, wood, and sometimes trash, including black-tar-dipped bricks and old car tires, in inefficient stoves or individual household boilers. The city also has three coal plants that release fly ash into the air.
As part of the conference, Robin moderated a panel tasked with creating clean-energy action items that the group presented to both Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj and Prime Minister Sükhbaataryn Batbold. On the trip she also met with international energy companies and Mongolian NGOs. These talks were more successful than her attempt to ride a camel or tame a vulture.
See the Photos ››
Support Us on Climate Ride California 2012
How can you enjoy an incredible 5-day bicycle ride in Northern California while supporting CRS? Climate Ride—the nation's largest environmental cycling event—has accepted CRS as a beneficiary for this year's California ride, which runs from September 9–13, 2012 and travels from Eureka to San Francisco. The exciting part for CRS is that anyone who signs up for the ride is able to choose to raise money for CRS and support our work to advance sustainable energy. Look for us as "Team CRS" at www.climateride.org
New and Improved Green-e Ts Have Passed Stakeholder Review and Are Available for Sale
If you're like most of us at CRS, you're careful to only make claims that can be backed up by an overwhelming preponderance of evidence, or indisputable proof using widely recognized best-practice methodologies, or—whenever possible—independent, third-party certification. But just because we're sticklers for accuracy and open-stakeholder standards-setting processes doesn't mean that we don't let it all hang out once in awhile. And when that happens, we like to sport our Exclusive Multiblend Green-e Logo Ts, made from a proprietary blend of spaceage ultrasoft microweave. Available in two flavors: crewneck and V, these sporty Ts offer a well-placed (though tastefully understated) Green-e logo, making them perfect for the renewable energy enthusiast and eco-label lover alike. Take these shirts off our hands so we can get to work on version 3.0. Limited sizes available, email beatriz [at] resource-solutions.org to see what's available. Only $15, which includes shipping anywhere in the U.S.
Jen joined CRS in June 2012 as a legal intern. She is currently entering her second year of law school at UC Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall) where she is focusing on renewable energy and clean technology. Prior to law school, she taught Global Studies at Cal State San Marcos and was a founding faculty member of a school in Bhutan. Jen earned her M.A. in Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara and her undergraduate degree from the University of Miami. She enjoys vegetarian food, sunshine, and the beach.
Green-e Verification Associate
Jade joined CRS in June 2012 as Green-e Verification Associate. She graduated from U.C. Santa Barbara with a degree in Electrical Engineering in June 2011. While in school, she was involved in UCSB's Engineers Without Borders chapter where she helped implement sustainable solutions for developing communities. Since graduating, Jade has worked with multiple organizations that promote cleantech, entrepreneurship, and a stronger environmental market. She is excited to learn more about renewable energy and the voluntary market.
Green-e Verification Associate
Peter is attending Santa Clara University and will graduate in 2012 with a major in Economics and Environmental Studies. At CRS, he is building on his past work experience with the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to promote and research renewable energy. He has a strong passion for environmental issues and especially those pertaining to renewable energy. He also enjoys mountain biking, skiing, movies, and new restaurants.
Green-e Verification Associate
Josh joined CRS in June, 2012 as a Green-e Verification Associate and will aid CRS in its annual verification review process. He currently attends the University of Washington in Seattle and is double majoring in Environmental Studies and Economics. At the University of Washington, Josh was part of the Campus Sustainability Fund, a student-run grant-giving program which awards funds to student led sustainability projects on campus, as well as the UW Lacrosse Team. He also has a specific interest in renewable energy generation, government environmental policy, energy efficiency, and energy markets.
Melanie joined CRS in June 2012 as a Meetings Assistant. She graduated from BYU Provo in Recreation Management. During college, she was VP of Programs for the Student Alumni Association. After college, she explored different event planning positions in special events, benefit concerts, and most recently coordinating 5k Mud Runs. She is enjoying her time at CRS, helping plan the 2012 Renewable Energy Markets conference.
CRS is proud to let you know that we will be featured in the Laura and John Arnold Foundation's Giving Library, an online philanthropy video project undertaken by the Arnold Foundation to provide philanthropists with an efficient way to learn about the good work being done by nonprofits across the nation. CRS is one of a limited number of nonprofits invited by the Arnold Foundation to participate in this effort. Scheduled to be available in late August, you can view our video profile by visiting www.givinglibrary.org.
Green-e Climate has received all verification submissions for the 2011 reporting year. Initial reviews show an increase in sales of Green-e Climate Certified offsets of nearly 6% to total 214,696 unique metric tons carbon dioxide-equivalent (tCO2e). The program also continued to grow more international and diverse in terms of project type, location, and project certification.
CRS again submitted comments for the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)'s proposed updates to the LEED green-building standards. Green-e Climate certification is referenced in LEED's draft language on carbon offset purchasing for the Green Power and Carbon Offset Credit in the Building Design and Construction and Interior Design and Construction rating systems, and for the Green Energy Production and Utilization credit in the Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance rating system. The finalization of the USGBC's LEED rating systems for green buildings has been delayed until next year. We will be providing more information regarding Green-e Climate "equivalency" to clarify language in the rating systems for users and hosting a webinar on the subject in November.
Green-e Climate recently hosted webinars including Introduction to Green-e Climate, Offsets vs. RECs: What's the difference and how should each be used? and Carbon Claims in Green-e Marketplace: Using the Green-e Logo with your Purchase of Certified Offsets, featuring distinguished speakers from EPA and WRI. Upcoming webinars include Carbon Offsets 101, Introduction to Green-e Climate, and Green-e in LEED. Visit the CRS Events page to register, or to revisit recording and slide decks of past webinars.
Also, be on the lookout for CRS's forthcoming Survey for Carbon Offset Purchasers, aimed at gathering information about offset purchasing practices and trends, purchaser experiences and needs, and the desire for and utilization of various quality assurance mechanisms in the voluntary market. The results will be used in part to inform Green-e Climate program development and outreach.
Finally, a reminder that Green-e Marketplace is now available to purchasers of Green-e Climate offsets. Sign up with Green-e Marketplace to use the Green-e logo with your offset claims. Please contact Green-e Climate or Green-e Marketplace Staff with any questions.
CEQ Renewables Guidance Favors Certification. The White House's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) finalized its guidance to Federal agencies on renewable electricity purchases this Spring. The revised guidance directs allows agencies to purchase bundled renewable electricity or unbundled RECs to meet their greenhouse gas reporting obligations under Executive Order 13514. Green-e Energy and other CRS staff provided information to the CEQ during the revision process and are pleased to see government requirements reflecting U.S. voluntary renewable energy market best practice.
Watch for the Biomass Standard Review Survey in early August. For the last several months Green-e Energy has been working on potential updates to the Green-e Energy National Standard's definition of eligible biomass resources for generating renewable energy. An online survey will be available to all stakeholders for a 60-day comment period starting in August.
2011 Green-e Verification Report. Because we're instituting a new web-based verification process for Green-e Energy participants this year, the verification deadline has been extended and the report is scheduled to come out in mid-October. A highlights brief will be released during the Renewable Energy Markets conference in late September and will be available online.
Monadnock Paper Mills
Monadnock Paper Mills has been and continues to be an industry leader. As an FSC Certified mill, it has been been recognized by the Sierra Club and the State of New Hampshire, among others, for environmental achievements. Monadnock is also an EPA Green Power Partner, an EPA SmartWay Transport Partner, and ISO 14001:2004 certified.
Monadnock Paper Mills offsets 30% of the electricity used at its Antrim Road Facilities with Green-e Energy Certified renewable energy certificates and 100% of the electricity used to manufacture all printing and packaging papers, including the following brand names: Astrolite®, Astrolite PC 100®, Dulcet®, Caress®, Envi, and Ultraform. For more information, visit Monadnock's environment website.
[Learn more about Green-e Marketplace]
Welcome New Green-e Energy Participants
• Plymouth Rock Energy
• Palmetto Climate
Welcome New Green-e Marketplace Participants
• EU Services
• Harris Litho
• Hemlock Printers
- Webinar: Carbon Offsets 101 ($45)
August 9, 2012. 12:00 p.m. PT. This essential introduction to carbon offsets covers the basics of how offsets work and provides an overview of the global voluntary market. This hour-long webinar will cover offset terms and definitions, project types, quality criteria, project standards and credit certification, and retail offset transactions and product certification. We'll also cover the state of and trends in the voluntary marketplace, and an overview of different players in the market. Register Now.
- Webinar: Introduction to Green-e Energy
August 23, 2012. 12:00 p.m. PT. A free webinar that explains the Green-e Energy certification program and how it works within the larger voluntary renewable energy market in North America. This webinar covers the basics of how renewable energy is generated, tracked, and sold; how Green-e Energy protects consumers by ensuring clear title to renewable energy purchases that are as advertised; and how consumers, businesses, and renewable energy sellers can become involved with Green-e Energy. Register Now
- Webinar: Introduction to Green-e Marketplace
September 13, 2012. 12:00 p.m. PT. Green-e Marketplace is a program that recognizes organizations using certified renewable energy and enables them to demonstrate their environmental commitment through the use of the nationally recognized Green-e logo. Green-e Marketplace gives its participants unique resources to help them communicate their commitment to clean energy on their collateral, website, and products. This hour-long webinar explains the requirements of joining the program, the benefits of clean-energy purchases to an organization's sustainability strategy, and how Green-e Marketplace fits into the overall green-labeling ecosystem. Register Now
- Renewable Energy Markets Conference 2012
September 23-25, 2012. This year's Renewable Energy Markets conference will be held at the Capital Hilton hotel in Washington, D.C. from the opening reception on September 23 to final sessions on Tuesday, September 25. Special thanks to City Sponsor Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES). This year's REM promises to be the biggest and best yet, and we're proud to bring it to the nation's capital for the first time since 2002. Visit the Website
- Renewable Energy Finance Forum-West
September 27-28, 2012. REFF-West returns to San Francisco on September 27-28 for its fifth edition. Join over 400 high-level attendees as we debate the latest trends in renewable energy financing and give you practical takeaway advice on how to move your projects forward. Visit the Website
- VERGE SF
November 12-13, 2012. VERGE brings together business innovators, entrepreneurs, and leading public officials to illuminate the opportunities for radical efficiencies created through technology advancements in energy, buildings and transportation. Visit the Website