Bamboo Opportunity

Carbon Credit Trading

Bamboo Carbon Credits
The market for carbon credits is about $100,000,000 in 2010.  The extent of market penetration that Bamboo  could eventually capture is incalculable in any meaningful way, the variables are unknown.

There WILL be regional markets for locally grown Carbon Credits and we are working in California, and Yunnan, China, to produce credits that will help offset local emissions.  We would like to work with Oil Refiners, Power Producers, Mines, and other large polluters to grow sequestrating biomass, close to emission sources, for a more direct accounting of the effect upon the immediate area.  We foresee the use of Bamboo along freeways, and surrounding power plants as an effort to capture CO2, before it rises to the stratosphere, where it is out of the reach of any recovery technology yet proposed.

1. Carbon Credits (CDM). Market Impact: Substantial

To date there are about 300 certified CDM Carbon Credit projects that supply about $100 billion of credits per year.  Of those projects, 7 are bio based, and none of those are using Bamboo as the sequestration medium.  Bamboo is many times more productive than trees on a per acre basis, and more easily quantified than virgin rainforest projects.  Bamboo plantations could offer lower cost and precisely accountable,sustainable, carbon credits with lower risk of "slippage" and no storage requirements.  This would make Bamboo Carbon credits the "Gold Standard", and a formidable competitor in this fast developing market...The Chicago MERK recently started CDM trading in anticipation of regulations mandating "Cap and Trade".  California has treaty obligations that dictate "a portfolio of Solutions", chief among those will be Carbon Credit Trading.  It will soon become apparent that we can grow a lot of Carbon sequestering biomass to help pay for the reduction in allowable emissions.  That is a powerful reason to start planting the best practical biomass, which in many areas, could be high value bamboo.  We are planning plantations that can supply that demand.  The impact on the market for Carbon credits would be substantially in favor of Bamboo, within 10 years if we start now.

Data from research in India puts the rate of uptake as:

3.67 Tons of Atmospheric CO2=1ton Bamboo Carbon Fiber.

The rate of growth is about 5x more efficient per hectare than Pine, over a 15 year period.

If planting bamboo would produce accounting for a reasonable time frame of at least 100 years, it could qualify as a “carbon credit” under the Koyoto Treaty (CDM). Unfortunately, forestation/aforestation data can't really guarantee that with any certainty. That is why there are so few Biological based CDM.

The best way to avoid "slippage” back into the atmosphere from any sort of Bio based CO2 sequestration project, would be to convert the Carbon (C) from fast growing biomass into an inert permanent form, or fuel; in the form of either Charcoal, or Hydrogen (Bio Gas); obviating the need for storage.

The tremendous growth rate of bamboo can be the basis for annual CDMs and create the "Gold Standard" of Carbon Credits. Bamboo biomass produced on marginally productive land with waste water, will provide a lot of new jobs; if we can develop the processes for permanent (or very long term) Carbon sequestration. Annual credits would sell at a discount to longer term CDM's and allow budget flexibility, in a constantly changing regulatory environment.

Ideally, solar kilns will provide the heat for carbonization, so that we would
produce pure C, in the form of charcoal; which can be considered inert; and can
be tilled into soil for thousands of years of carbon storage; possibly after being used as a highly efficient water purification filter. Value can be added if it is inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi, and beneficial Bacteria. It can then be sold as a plant growth amendment that saves water and fertilizer.

Bacteria and enzymes can convert biomass directly into Hydrogen, which can be used in pollution free combustion, or as feed stock for fuel cells. The by product of that, is Lignin, which can be used as an organic soil amendment. The goal will be to supply sufficient fuel to enable every person to operate a multi use fuel cell, with sufficient output to charge vehicles and run a modern home, at a cost below that of centralized power.

We need research to develop the most efficient methods for these potential CDM processes; and to make it a world wide project. India, and Sri Lanka are particularly suitable for this project because there is a readily available source of material that can be used while large projects are being designed and established (between 6-10 years is the time it takes to bring plantation scale Industrial bamboo to full production).

The Cotton Crisis

Farm Bill Follies 

The United States created the World Trade Organization (WTO) to promote free trade between emerging countries and developed  nations.  The idea was to allow the efficient use of labor and resources through free access to world wide markets.

The first round of talks were held in Doha and did not result in any agreements.  Another round of talks held in Brazil failed to make headway, and the future of the WTO  was in doubt.  By  December 2005, the pressure to get some kind of agreement signed was building, and our US negotiator, Rob Portman, was applying that pressure to get a treaty that removes all subsidies on all agricultural products, by the year 2013.  It took two overnight sessions, in Hong Kong to get the rough draft completed, but the resistance from Japanese, Korean, and French Farmers (who are all highly subsidized and influential in their governments) was intense.  One bone of contention was the issue of the US Cotton Subsidy, which had been adjudicated in a succession of cases before the World Court where the US was found to be guilty of market manipulation which lead to the demise of small cotton farmers throughout the underdeveloped world.  As an example of world trade cooperation, Mr. Portman agreed to end the Cotton subsidy in 2006, and that was a key to getting the world wide Treaty on Agricultural Tariffs,  which was signed just before the new year began.....

Since that time, lobbying on behalf of large cotton producers has been intense, and political considerations were made to allow the Cotton subsidy to be modified, to get around the intent of the WTO Treaty.  One result was the resignation of Rob Portman from the WTO, since he had signed the treaty, and couldn't face the prospect of facing the wrath of his fellow WTO members over our blatant treaty violation.   Another result was a fifth World Court decision against the US Cotton subsidy, and a threatened trade war with Brazil.  So it is ironic to note that the US continues to include Subsidies for Cotton in the 2012 Farm Bill, while at the same time paying Brazil $145,000,000/year, if they won't sue us again over the cotton subsidy...

The Bamboo Solution

Cotton can be grown on  marginally productive land, and provides income for millions of third world farmers . However, in the US, it is done on a vast scale, with mechanization and chemicals taking the place of low impact labor....the result has been to create major environmental problems with erosion and pesticide runoff, and in California, we have Subsidized Cotton, polluting the air and water, while we are spending millions trying to re mediate those impacts on the upper San Joaquin River... 

When Cotton is no longer subsidized in the US, there will be an opportunity for alternative higher value crops to replace it.  One of the best of these could be Bamboo.  The advantages over other crops is that once established, Bamboo requires no annual planting, and little or no fertilizer, or pesticide, while it stops erosion and actually rebuilds the ability of the soil to support higher biomass production...At the same time, it provides the basis for many industrial uses that will benefit the environment and provide a large number of "green jobs".