It is time to move away from the obvious weakness of existing carbon markets based on estimation to real-time measurements of carbon flux at the project level, particularly for forests.
Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) December 18, 2013
A new approach to carbon trading described in a recently issued patent entitled “Systems of Systems for Monitoring Greenhouse Gas Fluxes” seeks to change the economic and ecological determinants of deforestation. The enigma of deforestation, a global source of CO2 to the atmosphere, has steadily increased over the past decades reducing biodiversity and gobbling up natural lands of indigenous peoples despite expensive policies designed to stop it.
The patented technology, assigned to Planetary Emissions Management Inc. of Cambridge, MA provides for the direct measurement of the three forms of carbon that make up the carbon cycle (e.g., carbon 12, carbon 13 and carbon 14—the “3C’s of the Carbon Cycle”) and their transformation to financial products for global markets. Rather than providing revenue for cutting trees, the PEM approach provides revenue for allowing trees to grow, in situ, thus disincentivizing deforestation. The transactions can be integrated with local social and cultural norms. Project value will depend on sustained and verified sequestration performance by the monitoring technology.
“It is time to move away from the obvious weakness of existing carbon markets based on estimation to real-time measurements of carbon flux at the project level, particularly for forests,” said Bruno D.V. Marino, CEO of PEM and named inventor. The PEM methodology calls for continuous field measurement of the 3C's across networks of forest and soil monitoring stations using the first field instrument of its kind. “The rare isotopic forms of CO2 should be measured with the same high frequency as for 12CO2 given their importance for tracking forest carbon, fossil fuel emissions and climate change,” said Marino. The breakthrough is in acquiring data in the field with sufficient precision for the specific carbon accounting application. The PEM instrument, the Global Monitor Platform, is under development and field testing.
Direct measurements at the project scale are utilized to create financial products linked directly to carbon emissions reductions and/or sequestration rates. “Providing revenue to landowners for tree growth at the source linked to measurements can provide a powerful tool to disincentivize deforestation, encourage land conservation and restore biodiversity, a building block of nature,” Marino commented. For example, Ghana, a country with high rates of deforestation would be particularly suited for application of the PEM patented technology. Maine, a state with ample opportunity for management of abundant natural and commercial forests, would also benefit from the PEM technology.
The PEM technology and carbon accounting approach can also be applied to carbon capture and storage project performance (e.g., leakage of injected CO2), emissions reduction management of megacities, waste-to-energy carbon accounting and treaty and regulatory compliance requirements.