APX to develop greenhouse gas registry
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Private California company APX Inc said on Monday it is creating a registry aimed at increasing transparency in the murky voluntary greenhouse gas emissions offsets industry.
APX will create the registry for the Gold Standard Foundation, a Swiss-based nonprofit supported by environmental groups that sets standards for voluntary emissions offset credits.
Michael Schlup, the director of the Gold Standard Foundation, said in a release that APX "will provide the secure, cost-efficient and easy-to-use solution that the voluntary carbon market is looking for as a sound foundation for further growth."
The voluntary greenhouse gas offset market has boomed in the United States, which does not regulate climate-changing gases and withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol. Image-conscious companies and individuals who feel guilty about their carbon footprints offset some or all of their emissions by buying credits representing emissions reductions like hydropower or burning methane coal mines.
Global voluntary greenhouse trade hit about 23.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent last year, worth about $91 million. It could rise to 1.2 billion tonnes by 2012 as the United States and Asia rush to offset their impact on global warming outside the Kyoto scheme, according to verification firm Lloyds Register.
But the market is not regulated and has suffered from complaints that some offset projects have actually led to increased emissions. Organizations like Gold Standard have emerged to verify and track offset credits in an effort to increase trust in the industry.
Some traders, however, have said the group's strict quality requirements have stifled trade in its credits.
APX will create the registry through an platform that tracks renewable energy credits in the United States.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner, editing by Jim Marshall)