MEDIA RELEASE - 3 August 2006
Carbon trading turns being green into a real market performer
Trading of greenhouse pollution credits on the pioneering NSW carbon market -
the oldest such market in the world, and the biggest outside of the European
Union – has been on rollercoaster ride over the past few weeks.
Figures compiled by leading local carbon market player Easy Being Green show
significant price fluctuations in NSW, as the fledgling market tracks a
per-tonne value on CO2, the main gas causing global warming.
Easy Being Green CEO Paul Gilding said the NSW market price of a “credit” for a
tonne of CO2 had risen steadily all year before falling away suddenly during
“It dropped from a high of around $14.65 about three weeks ago to under $11
yesterday, before recovering dramatically this afternoon to around $13.50 on the
back of an important announcement by the NSW trading scheme regulator ,” said
“This is a brand new market taking off thanks to the NSW Government’s Greenhouse
Gas Abatement Scheme (GGAS), introduced two years ago. It’s really exciting to
watch it at work, even if it costs us money when it falls. Markets are meant to
rise and fall.
“What it says is that carbon trading is happening in Australia and the market is
working like markets should by responding to factors like supply and demand and
regulatory uncertainty. This is still a very young market and everyone is on a
steep learning curve here.”
Easy Being Green was founded in 2004 by its chairman, Nic Frances, an ordained
Anglican priest and former head of the Brotherhood of St Laurence who has turned
carbon entrepreneur. By tapping into the NSW carbon market, the company has
grown from six to nearly 150 people in the past year and has distributed about
150,000 “Climate Saver Packs” worth over $12 million in carbon credits.
Frances encountered a lot of interest in the NSW scheme when he attended the
recent Carbon Expo 2006 in the German city of Cologne, billed as “an
extraordinary global event that signals the Coming of Age of the Global Carbon
“Equivalent to 450 million tonnes of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide
(CO2) has been traded around the world already,” says Frances. “That’s over
$US10 billion in trades in 2005, up from $US1 billion in 2004, and growing fast.
Internationally, the Japanese and some European countries are by far the biggest
buyers now, but that will change quickly as global pressure to address the
threat of climate change increases.
“Cologne showed that this is an exciting market that has just begun. Here in
NSW, I’m seeing many innovative companies like us at Easy Being Green going out
and creating new business models and driving growth at amazing speed. It’s
fascinating to see it happening so fast. This NSW scheme has given us a
fantastic opportunity to learn about carbon trading while also showing consumers
how they can benefit from fighting climate change.”
In NSW, over 20 million carbon credits worth more than $250 million have already
been created by dozens of different participants in the market, ranging from
major energy companies to small start-up businesses, with well over 6 million
credits having been traded.
CEO Gilding, a former head of Greenpeace International, said carbon trades worth
tens or even in the hundreds of millions of dollars could occur in NSW this
year. “The eyes of the world, and indeed Australia, are on the carbon credit
trading in NSW as the only scheme of its kind in the world,” said Gilding.
“What’s unique here in NSW is that every householder can participate in the
market via simple energy-efficiency measures like installing low-energy light
“Early signs so far are proving that the concept, which gives householders the
right to trade the carbon emissions they save, is strongly supported by
residents. Easy Being Green on its own has helped over 150,000 customers to
trade carbon savings being made in their homes.”
Easy Being Green’s current business model is to distribute “Climate Saver Packs”
free of charge. Packs contain six energy-saving light globes and one AAA rated
water-saving showerhead (for electric hot water users), with the contents worth
about $100 at retail.
In return for being given a pack and committing to install it, the householder
signs over their carbon savings to Easy Being Green, with each installed pack
being worth an average of about 6.5 NSW Greenhouse Abatement Certificates, or
NGACs as carbon credits are known in NSW. Installing each pack also saves the
householder about $150 a year off electricity and water utility costs, with
water-savings alone of about 21,000 litres a year.
Under GGAS, Easy Being Green is accredited to trade carbon credits on to energy
companies to assist them in meeting mandatory emission targets. In order to meet
their targets and avoid being fined, energy companies can undertake their own
energy efficiency, pollution reduction and renewable energy initiatives and can
also purchase carbon credits from accredited providers like Easy Being Green
Easy Being Green’s goal is to see that one million householders in NSW install
the packs before mid-2007 and that 70 percent of Australian homes reduce energy
and water use by 30 percent by 2014.
If a million packs are installed, that means about 1 million tonnes in CO2
savings each year for seven years - the assumed life of the light globes and
showerhead – giving a total of 7 million tonnes. This total is equivalent to
wiping out a whole year’s worth of emissions from one of NSW’s big coal-fired
power stations (1000MW).
Total market potential for NSW and the ACT is about 2.5 million homes.
Released for Easy Being Green by Dennis Rutzou Public Relations.
For further information please call Fiona Pennington or
Kim Larochelle on 02 9413 4244.