In 2006, Van Ness Feldman, P.C. helped the Climate Cent Foundation finalize purchases of nearly 4 million tons of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) and Emission Reduction Units (ERUs). The Foundation intends to rely on the firm to help it meet its goal of finalizing contracts for another 6 million tons of Kyoto credits by mid-2008.
The Climate Cent Foundation is an industry initiative designed to help Switzerland meet its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. In 2005, Swiss industry adopted a voluntary levy on transportation fuel imports to fund the Foundation, which has a mandate to: (1) invest in emission reduction projects in Switzerland and (2) purchase Kyoto credits from international projects that meet certain sustainable development requirements. For the latter purpose, the Foundation has budgeted CHF 200 million (approximately US$164 million) and committed to purchase 10 million tons of CERs and ERUs through a multi-faceted procurement strategy.
In 2006, the Foundation retained Van Ness Feldman as legal counsel for all of its international carbon market transactions. Van Ness Feldman advised the Foundation on a variety of agreements this year, including:
- An Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) for approximately 141,000 CERs from a renewable energy project in Brazil involving a wood chip power plant.
- An ERPA for up to 650,000 ERUs from a wind farm being constructed in New Zealand.
- An ERPA for approximately 175,000 CERs from a biogas project in Honduras. The project also meets the rigorous Gold Standard criteria developed by the World Wildlife Fund.
- An ERPA for approximately 167,000 CERs from a project to develop a new bus system for Bogotá, Colombia. The project is the first transportation sector project registered under the Clean Development Mechanism.
- An agreement with Ecosecurities under which Ecosecurities is obliged to deliver 2 million CERs from a selection of projects that meet the Climate Cent Foundation’s sustainable development specifications. In addition, the Foundation purchased a call option on the delivery of an additional 1 million CERs.
The Climate Cent Foundation also relied on Van Ness Feldman’s counsel in investing in a new carbon fund, which an international development bank is launching in 2007. The Foundation intends to purchase approximately 1.8 million CERs through this entity. In addition, the firm advised the Foundation on agreements with brokers to source additional CERs and ERUs.
Van Ness Feldman partner Kyle W. Danish led the team that counseled the Foundation. Danish commented: “We are proud to work with the Climate Cent Foundation on its innovative Kyoto credit procurement strategy and look forward to helping its meet its goals for 2007.”
Renato Marioni, the Climate Cent Foundation’s Director for International Affairs, said: "With its transactional expertise and understanding of the carbon markets, Van Ness Feldman has been instrumental in helping us implement our plans and meet our targets. The firm has played a critical role in assisting us in structuring transactions.”
With offices in Washington, DC and Seattle, Washington, Van Ness Feldman is an internationally recognized law firm specializing in energy, the environment, natural resources, and infrastructure security. Founded in 1977, the firm now has more than 75 attorneys and public policy professionals, many of whom previously served in senior positions in the United States government. On the issue of global climate change, Van Ness Feldman counsels clients on strategic risk and opportunity management, including emissions trading transactions.