Public Relations Company

Public Relations Company  
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 July.

“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 Gilding.

“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 Market”.

“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 globes.

“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.

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