This week in V-Carbon...
The voluntary carbon markets will have an increasingly key role to play in support of "the happiest place on earth," given the Walt Disney Company's new plans to expand its offset purchasing program.
“If it weren’t for the voluntary market, the vibrancy of the standards such as VCS [the Verified Carbon Standard], ACR [the American Carbon Registry], and CAR [the Climate Action Reserve] of course, we wouldn’t be comfortable playing in this area,” says Bob Antonoplis, the entertainment giant's assistant general counsel. “The vibrancy of the market and the verification standards and the ability to get these projects off the ground and going has really worked well for us.”
Already covering direct emissions (Scope 1), Disney plans to expand its voluntary offset program to soon also include its indirect emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam (Scope 2).
“We’re going to be expanding our program as we fold in our Scope 2 emissions, which will obviously increase the amount of projects that we’ll be involved in,” Antonoplis told participants in a CAR webinar held last Thursday.
The Climate Solutions Fund, Disney's internal carbon pricing program, initially used the European price of $15 per tonne (/tCO2e) as its pricing benchmark, according to Antonoplis. However, the price charged to the company's internal units has been much lower in practice, ranging in the $11-14/tCO2e range, he says.
To date, Disney has preferred to fund new projects rather than buying older offsets and to work with long-time NGO partners such as Conservation International, the Nature Conservancy, the Conservation Fund and World Wildlife Fund, with 80-90% of its credits acquired through these relationships.
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