Blue Source, Goldman in “Largest Publicly Announced” Carbon Offset Deal


Carbon offset developer Blue Source announced the completion of the “largest publicly announced U.S. offset deal” (his description, reportedly): a $12 million carbon transaction between Blue Source and Goldman Sachs Group. The deal reportedly met Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and Voluntary Carbon Standard quality standards. It also included credits from North Carolina’s Alligator River Forestry project – the first carbon credits to be listed by the CAR outside California.

According to a Reuters report, Blue Source generated the offsets – primarily by convincing North Carolina farmers not to cut down tree stands and by capturing and burning greenhouse gases given off by coal mines and landfills. Goldman then marketed the carbon credits for Blue Source. Then, U.S. investor and carbon commodity owner CE2 Carbon Capital bought the credits. While the companies would not reveal how many credits were sold or at what price they were sold, Blue Source did reveal that each offset type was represented equally (roughly) in the deal.

According to Blue Source President Greg Spencer, the deal could be interpreted as a sign that U.S. businesses are moving forward with the trading of a variety of carbon offsets, ahead of a top-down government carbon trading program. However, such an interpretation could be a long shot, given the fact that the government has yet to determine what offsets would be permissible in a national carbon market. Congress is in the process of determining what format of the recently-introduced Kerry-Boxer bill it will pass (or if it will pass the bill at all), and its final decision could curb any private companies’ carbon trading endeavors.

What do you think the significance of the Blue Source deal is in an analysis of the future of U.S. carbon offset trading?

Sarah Harper is a professional writer based in San Francisco, California. Her interests include sustainability, government policy, and international politics. In her free time, Sarah enjoys toying with the idea of holistic health, overanalysis, and plotting world exploration.

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