Saturday, October 27, 2012

Schoppmann Declined Role in Haida OIF Scheme

Contrary to assertions made by the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation (see Loan Documents Shed Additional Light on HSRC, 10/23), Schoppmann & Partner AG, a Swiss consulting firm, never agreed to act as broker for carbon credits generated by the Haida Gwaii salmon restoration/carbon sequestration project.  No methodologies or protocols exist for creating ocean iron fertilization (OIF) offset credits, either now or in the past, under any jurisdiction in the world.  As such, "We saw the obstacle to not being able to sell the carbon credits, ever," said Alexander Schoppmann, who heads the firm.

Schoppmann previously partnered with Russ George, chief scientist for HSRC, in another failed OIF venture called Blue CO2, from 2009 to 2010.  Interestingly, Schoppmann is an outspoken climate change sckeptic, and believes major governments have conspired to create a global carbon tax in the form of the international offset market.  These views are difficult to reconcile with Russ George's frequent claims to be leading the charge against global climate change, but business can make for strange bedfellows.


  1. Curiouser and curiouser...

    One thing I hadn't known until I heard this interview, aired by Canada's public broadcaster CBC on their flagship radio show As It Happens, with John Disney, was it is his view that the Haida of Old Masset were operating in "their own traditional territory", "which doesn't stop at the 200 mile limit", it includes "the Haida ocean, which goes out to wherever they perceive the line to be", outside Canadian waters on what most would call the high seas.

    On the carbon credit issue, Disney said:

    "the original intention was to restore the productivity of the ocean which would lead to increased and returning salmon stocks, which is our chief concern. And then... to make it viable, we hope to be able to document and certify certain offset credits so we can keep going - we desperately don't want to make this a one-off, like all the previous experiments"

    I wonder why you make the point that "no methodologies or protocols exist", because in any case with anything, someone has to be first.

    A print report based on the CBC As It Happens interview is here.

    1. On the methodologies/protocols point, it's important because in order for a project developer to obtain offset credits, any claimed emissions reductions must be verified by a third party using a "methodology" formally adopted by an issuing authority. If no issuing authority has adopted a relevant methodology, then no authority can issue offset credits for those project activities.

      In the Haida case, in order for HSRC to obtain credits from, say, the Clean Development Mechanism, the CDM Executive Board would need to have adopted an official OIF methodology (or "protocol") that would be used to validate carbon reductions, taking into account things like additionality, leakage, etc. But no compliance or voluntary carbon market anywhere in the world has ever adopted an OIF methodology, so no authority would be able to issue credits for the Haida experiment. A project developer like HSRC can't simply declare the creation of credits, rather credits must be issued by a recognized authority in order to be sold on world markets.

      (The CDM wouldn't award credits to HSRC in any case because Canada is not a developing country.)

  2. Disney is saying "we hope to be able" to document what happened in a way that would enable the Haida to sell carbon credits, which is something like if I said "we hope to be able to conserve the ability of the planet to support life".

    Obviously this (either one, the Haida selling carbon credits or civilization conserving the planet enough civilization and this age of life survives) is not a likely scenario.

    But there is nothing wrong with taking actions, like working together with others to change national policy for instance, that would have no utility unless a very large number of other people all acting together in ways they are not doing now succeed beyond the wildest dreams of most.