For the past 20 years, Environmental Finance has polled its readers to identify the leading brokers, traders, project developers, and service providers in environmental markets. This year, over 850 responses were received, and we’re proud to announce that First Environment ranked first as “Best Verification Company” for North American carbon markets. Rankings are based on efficiency and speed of transaction, reliability, innovation, quality of information and service provided, and influence in the market.
“Carbon markets in Europe and North America have shown resilience in the face of a changing political and regulatory landscape,” Christopher Marchant of Environmental Finance reports. Factors such as the burgeoning Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), and the new ISO 14064-3:2019 international verification standard will contribute to a growing verification market. Increased demand among consumers and corporations will also influence emerging carbon markets, especially as a result of more extreme and costly weather events in recent years.
Regarding industry trends, First Environment’s Market Area Director for Greenhouse Gas Management, Jay Wintergreen, states: “Within the last year, we’ve observed the most interest in renewable fuels projects due to the California Air Resources Board’s LCFS program. In particular, there seem to be new opportunities for both landfill and dairy projects, project types which First Environment has verified for a decade. We see the LCFS program as the primary regulatory driver in 2020 for the major markets in which we provide services.”
The aviation industry is also in a position to make strides with the advent of CORSIA; though the first year of reporting is imminent, there is limited activity as of yet among airlines. “This is likely to change as operators complete their reports and verification,” Jay adds, “and then begin to use that information to strategize and plan for future compliance.” Still, future decisions by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regarding CORSIA-eligible offsets will determine the demand in offset markets.
In addition, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has made news recently with the entry of Pennsylvania in 2019 and planned re-entry of New Jersey in 2020. Though the scope remains small and allowance prices low, we are hopeful that the program may eventually generate market activity beyond allowance trading.
There are still obstacles to face in North American carbon markets, especially due to political and regulatory landscapes; however, we are optimistic about the growth of environmental markets globally, and look forward to what 2020 brings. Thank you for voting us Best Verifier for 2019! View Environmental Finance’s full 2019 Market Rankings here.
About First Environment
First Environment provides technical assistance and assurance services for greenhouse gas reporting or offset projects under most North American compliance or voluntary programs. We assist project developers with emission reduction projects, including producing project description documents, monitoring plans, and offset calculations and support public and private organizations with the development of greenhouse gas inventories and facility reports.
First Environment is CARB-accredited as a verification body for cap and trade compliance offset project data reports with livestock, ozone depleting substances, and mine methane capture project specialties. The firm is also a CARB-accredited verification body for GHG emission data reports under the MRR and our team includes transaction, oil and gas, and process emissions sector specialists. First Environment is also ANSI-accredited to perform verifications of voluntary offset projects under the CAR, VCS and ACR programs; The Climate Registry member reports; as well as compliance greenhouse gas reporting to Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia.