Wall Street And Climate Change Get Cosier And Cosier…

A couple of interesting news from Wall Street this week in the realm of carbon finance. Firstly, on Tuesday, JP Morgan announced the launch of what is, as far as I can tell, the first ever bond index with a special climate change risk overlay. In the interest of disclosure, I was tangentially involved with this project. While this overlay probably won't have much of an impact in the very near term, it will be interesting to see what happens once constituent firms are all subjected to some form of greenhouse gas regulation. Second, on Thursday, Lehman...

Update on the Global Carbon Market

The World Bank Carbon Finance Unit recently released its Q3 2006 update for the global market for CO2 emissions (the carbon market). The document, entitled “State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2006��? (PDF file), contains some pretty interesting information that makes it difficult not to be bullish on the future of emissions trading. Here are some numbers. At the end of Q3 2006, the total value of the market stood at $21.5 billion, up 94% on the whole of 2005 ($11.1 billion). Unsurprisingly, Europe, with its Emissions Trading Scheme, continues to account for the bulk (~99%) of...

Carbon ETFs/ETNs: Playing Copenhagen

Charles Morand At $126 billion transacted in 2008, up from $11 billion in 2005, the global carbon market is the fastest growing commodities market in the world and, provided that an agreement is reached at the COP15 conference in Copenhagen and that the US adopts a cap-and-trade program, this growth could go on for several more years. Yet this is a market that remains comparatively unknown for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the rules surrounding it are very complex. Unlike other commodities, to successfully invest directly in...

Investing in Climate Change

This post was supposed to be about coal-to-liquids (CTL), but I came across interesting info yesterday after opening a former colleague’s mail that I thought would make for a more interesting post. The CTL piece will thus have to wait a bit. What was in the package was a hard copy of the January/February 2007 edition of CNBC European Business. This edition is dedicated to climate change, but, more importantly, to how some firms are positioning themselves to benefit from the markets that will be created as a result of regulatory and other actions to tackle greenhouse gas...

Biochar’s Likely Market Impacts

Biochar is still mostly a research and cottage industry, yet it has the potential to impact returns for a broad range of investors. Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Biochar, or amending soil with biomass-derived carbon, shows great potential to improve the productivity of soils, as well as to increase the utilization of fertilizers by plants, while sequestering carbon to reduce the drivers of climate change.  On August 10, I went to the 2009 North American Biochar Conference to look at the potential for investors.  Before I went, I took a look at the publicly traded companies...

Climate change, carbon trading and America…it’s only a matter of time

Just a quick follow-up on my carbon trading post a few days ago. Thanks to GreenBiz.com for the heads up on the results of a survey that were released during MIT's seventh annual Carbon Sequestration Initiative Forum. The results show that climate change now tops the list of environmental concerns for Americans. I don't want to reveal too much here since this is a GreenBiz.com story, but it suffices to say that this provides yet more ammunition to the political backers of a framework to reduce greenhouses gases in America. Momentum is building and there will definitely be some...

Has Shale Gas Reduced Carbon Emissions?

Jim Hansen Last week, I wrote that the U.S. is on course to set a new export record of coal. A few days later the EIA made similar projections and estimate that exports will reach 125 million tons for 2012. One side effect of the success of U.S. coal exports is the degree to which may they have cancelled out the carbon emissions reduction experienced in the U.S. as shale gas displaced coal in the power generation sector. This question of displacement was addressed in a study just released by researchers at the University of...

EDF Sets Up Carbon Fund

The French electric utility EDF announced today that it is setting up a €300 million ($396 million) carbon fund to help meet its regulatory requirements under the EU ETS, Europe’s regulatory framework to control CO2 emissions. Carbon funds allow companies to make investments that create CO2 emissions reductions in emerging markets, such as upgrades to industrial operations or renewable energy projects, and use the credits generated thus to meet regulatory requirements in their home jurisdictions. This is a good way to concurrently reduce compliance costs at home and foster environmentally-friendly investments in emerging economies. I have discussed...

Beware The Vagaries Of Government

I just came across this article on potential problems with the emerging trade in carbon credits. The piece is not technical and I wouldn't say that it is particularly well-researched, but it does raise a key point - as the market for carbon emissions grows, the need for standardization and collaboration between governments and regulators will become ever more pressing. This could create problems. The carbon market is unique in that the commodity traded derives its value primarily from its ability to meet the requirements set by an environmental regulator. There is also a market for voluntary...

GlyEco Expands Antifreeze Recycling Footprint

by Debra Fiakas CFA Glyeco recycles waste glycol into reusable antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid and air conditioning coolants for the automotive and industrial markets.   The used coolant and antifreeze liquids are frequently contaminated with water, dirt, metals and oils.  The company uses a proprietary technology at the foundation of its recycling system to eliminate contaminants.  The company focuses mainly on ethylene glycol in its six processing plants. Last month chemical recycler GlyEco, Inc. (GLYE:  OTC/QB) acquired Brian’s On-Site Recycling, a provider of antifreeze and air conditioning coolant disposal services in the Tampa, Florida area.  The deal extends...

US Exchanges And Environmental Investing

An interesting bit of follow-up on my article last week about exchanges and environmental markets. Both the NYMEX and the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) have partnered up, in the past 2 weeks, with specialty cleantech and alt energy index makers to launch derivatives products. On March 14, Chicago Climate Futures Exchange (CCFE), a wholly owned subsidiary of the CCX, and WilderShares LLC, announced (PDF document) a licensing agreement to launch a futures market based on the WilderHill Clean Energy Index . The ECO is also the underlying index for the Powershares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio ETF...

Is Energy Sourcing the Gateway Drug to Energy Efficiency?

Tom Konrad CFA I recently interviewed Richard Domaleski, CEO of World Energy Solutions (NASD:XWES).  World Energy is a comprehensive energy management services firm whose core offering is extremely price competitive energy sourcing (that is, finding an energy provider to supply all of a client's energy needs at the lowest possible cost.)  They achieve competitive sourcing using an electronic energy exchange designed to achieve much better price discovery in what is traditionally a very opaque market.  According to Domaleski, a recent KEMA study showed that only 7% of large commercial, industrial, and government customers are sourcing their...

Avoiding a Carbon-Price Backlash

by Tom Konrad, Ph.D. Economics and Greenery, a Belated Rapprochement It is truly a triumph of economic ways of thinking that many of environmental activists are championing market-based approaches to tackling climate change.   Those people who are not for cap-and-trade on global warming gas emissions promote the even more economically rigorous carbon tax.  The most common defense against criticisms of subsidies for renewable energy is to retort that the fossil fuel industry benefits from much large subsidies.  Not only do fossil fuels get generous subsidies in direct and indirect payments, but they seldom pay anything like the indirect costs...

Some Emissions Trading News

A lot has happened in the world of carbon finance and emissions trading since we last wrote about this topic, so I felt this might be good time to provide a quick update. (A) The World Bank Carbon Finance Unit recently released its State and Trends of the Carbon Market 2007 (PDF document), a periodic assessment of the scale and characteristics of the global market for carbon dioxide emissions. The Bank found a large increase in the volumes traded (131%) and dollar value (177%) of the global carbon market in 2006 over 2005. Unsurprisingly, the EU ETS...

UBS Launches CO2 Emissions Index

UBS (NYSE:UBS) announced on Friday the launch of the UBS World Emissions Index (UBS-WEMI) – the world’s first index based on global carbon markets. At the moment, only the two exchanges linked to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) , the Nordic Power Exchange (Nordpool) and the European Climate Exchange (ECX), qualify for WEMI. The index is composed of future contracts on CO2 weighted between the two trading platforms as follows: ECX, 72.11% and Nordpool, 27.89%. The weights are allocated based upon the liquidity of the underlying exchanges as well as their respective share in the European carbon market....

ADR For Climate Exchange plc

One of our readers made a useful comment on our last post about Goldman Sachs and Climate Exchange plc. I thought some of you who are unlikely to go back to that post might be interested: "Hey this article on the Climate Exchange was great information. But you should tell your readers that there is an ADR trading OTC here in the states - CXCHF. Get it while the gettin is good. How long 'til GS takes this to the big board?" Thanks for this heads up, cascadehigh. UPDATE: Following this post, I got the...