Frequently Asked Questions
AgCert is no longer in operations. These questions are posted for reference and educational purposes.
What does AgCert™ do?
AgCert™ produces and sells greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions offsets from agricultural and other sources.
Where is the company based? Why?
The company is domiciled in Ireland. The European Union – as a result of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) - is our core market and we want to be in the Euro zone. The Euro is our functional currency.
Where does the company have operations? Why?
AgCert™ has activities in Ireland, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Canada and the United States. Our company headquarters are in Ireland. Project activities have been focused on Brazil and Mexico who are among the countries eligible to participate in projects associated with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the Kyoto protocol and EU Emission Trading Scheme. Project activities will expand to other geographies through AgriVerde (joint venture with AES) and AgCert™ in 2007 and beyond.
Who are AgCert™ customers?
Our primary customers are large industrial emitters and energy traders. However, we are also presently building customer relationships with governments, climate change funds and consumers.
How big is the company?
The company currently has over 300 employees and consultants, and has sub-contractors working on hundreds of farms.
How does AgCert™ make money?
AgCert™ makes money by selling “certified” or “verified” greenhouse gas emission reduction offsets to emitters of GHG emissions, such as companies in the energy, manufacturing and the chemical sectors.
Who owns AgCert™?
AgCert™ is publicly quoted on the London Stock Exchange with the ticker AGC.
Will AgCert™ make any real difference to global warming?
Yes. Our methodology reduces emissions. Implementing AgCert™'s methodology on farms results in the mitigation of significant tonnage of carbon dioxide equivalent which would not otherwise have been realised.
Who are the management of AgCert?
AgCert™ is managed by a group of experienced professionals that combine a breadth of industry, innovation, relationships and technical expertise. See AgCert™'s management page for more details.
How much will AgCert™ contribute to Global Warming by its executives having to travel between operations in the Americas and Europe?
Zero. The company offsets the emissions of its travel by retiring third party verified emission reductions from its own inventory.
Isn’t this just a way for the developed world to buy itself out of trouble?
Yes, in a way. Kyoto was designed to foster development in and transfer wealth to developing countries as well as to reduce GHG emissions. Global warming is a global problem, and the EU ETS and Kyoto Protocol have been structured to encourage (via financial penalties) reduced emissions, in the most economically viable way.
Why should projects in the developing world be subsidizing the emissions produced by industry in developed countries?
It is the reductions that count, not where they come from. Furthermore, it has been designed to encourage sustainable investment by developed countries in the developing world. AgCert™’s operations are expected to deliver financial and non-financial benefits where the projects take place.
Where are the major centres for carbon trading?
Today, the major trading centre is in Europe, in large part due to the presence of the EU ETS. However, a nascent market is taking shape in a many other locations in the world including Japan, Canada and even the United States.
Is there any significant volume being traded?
Trading in Offsets started in 2003 and has grown rapidly. In 2004 an estimated 94 million tCO2e were traded. According to PointCarbon, the market did €9.4 billion in 2005. The EU ETS did an estimated 362 Mt CO2e, at an estimated financial value of €7.2 billion. 93% of the volumes in the project market came through CDM, at 397 Mt CO2e, €1.9 billion. JI did 28 Mt, €95 million.
Point Carbon forecasts that the global market for Offsets is likely to reach €34 billion by 2010 including primary demand and secondary trading. Estimates of the primary demand in Europe for Offsets is 60 to 70 million Offsets per annum until 2008, rising to approximately one billion Offsets per annum from 2008 to 2012, when considered globally.
How are individual targets for emissions reductions arrived at?
The Kyoto Protocol sets legally binding limits on Greenhouse Gas emissions in Annex 1 countries and these countries have committed to reduce their GHG emissions by, on average, 5.2 per cent as compared with their 1990 levels.
Each member of state of the EU has ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which requires the EU to reduce its GHG emissions by 8 per cent below 1990 levels in the first commitment period (2008-2012). The EU’s commitment is apportioned between the Member States under a Burden Sharing Agreement (“BSA”). Furthermore, the EU has voluntarily committed to reduce its GHG emissions sooner than required under the Kyoto Protocol. As a result, the EU has implemented the EU-ETS, which came into effect on 1 January 2005 and is the first regulatory enforced commercial market for Offsets in the world.
The EU-ETS requires each Member State to draw up a National Allocation Plan (“NAP”) which states the total number of allowances that it intends to allocate for the relevant period, consistent with its actual and projected progress towards its obligations under the BSA and other factors, and how it intends to allocate those allowances to individual emitters covered by the EU-ETS.
Are these targets mandatory or voluntary?
EU-ETS and Kyoto targets are mandatory and excesses over allowances will result in financial penalties.
During phase I of the EU-ETS, any emitter exceeding its GHG emissions limit in any given year will be subject to a fine of (€40 per tCO2e in excess of its allowed limit) as well as having to reduce emissions or purchase such number of Offsets to correct the excess over such limit. In addition, the emitter will be publicly named on the European Union’s website. During phase II, the fine will be increased to €100 per tCO2e in excess of the limit. Therefore there is a strong incentive for GHG emitters to purchase GHG Offsets if they are unable to reduce their emissions in order to avoid these penalties. The only emission reduction credits other than EUAs that may be used to offset emissions throughout phase I and phase II of the EU-ETS are CERs arising from CDM Projects.