June 20, 2008
Voluntary Carbon Markets and the FTC Green Guides
Despite the United States’ decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and engage in international trading in carbon offset credits, a nascent market in voluntary greenhouse gas reduction credits is now thriving in the United States. Based on “verified emission reduction” credits, or VERs, companies are constructing projects around the country to reduce GHG emissions, and are either selling the resulting VERs or holding them in anticipation of a future compliance market. What are the issues surrounding additionality, registration, and verification of these VERs, and how will they be used in future GHG compliance markets?
At the same time, in November 2007, the Federal Trade Commission announced its decennial review of its Green Guides, 16 C.F.R. Part 260, which govern environmental marketing claims. The FTC has held two meetings, one addressing carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates and the other on packaging claims. More meetings are expected in the coming months. Just where is the FTC Green Guide process headed, and what are the likely ramifications for claims surrounding carbon offsets, climate, and sustainability? What issues are being raised by commenters, and what legal issues will the FTC face as it decides whether to retain, revise, expand, or delete the guides?
Patrick Traylor, Partner, Hogan & Hartson
Mary Anne Sullivan, Partner, Hogan & Hartson
Hampton Newsome, Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Federal Trade Commission
Hampton Newsome PowerPoint presentation (printer-friendly version)
Mary Anne Sullivan PowerPoint presentation (printer-friendly version)
Patrick Traylor PowerPoint presentation (printer-friendly version)
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