Cows and Carbon Credits
California cows, usually known for their laid-back attitude, have been losing their cool lately as on ongoing lawsuit over California’s cap-and-trade program has roiled the carbon auction markets. After several successful sales of carbon allowances, the May 18th auction saw a significant drop in interest, with only about 10 percent of the credits available being sold.
The lawsuit has a direct impact on the ability of California’s legislature and Air Resources Board (CARB) to fund projects—like anaerobic digesters—which successfully reduce carbon emissions. The agency has identified short-lived climate pollutants like methane as key to the state’s strategy to reduce the state’s GHG emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and has targeted methane released from California’s 1.7 million dairy cows as a critical investment.
The legislature adjourned at the end of June after passing its annual budget without having dealt with how or when to divvy up the state’s $2.2 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. The body will reconvene in Sacramento August for a short session before adjourning for the year. Meanwhile, the next auction for carbon allowances will occur on August 16th