ERA Holds Annual AGM and Provides Corporate Update on Operations
Oct 26, 2011 VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA ,MARKETWIRE
ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd. (TSX VENTURE: ESR), is pleased to announce completion of its October 20, 2011 Annual General Meeting ("AGM") at which the shareholders re-elected Dr. Robert Falls, Duncan J. Manson, Bart Simmons, Graham Harris, Holger Mayer and Frederic Jacquemont to the Board of Directors. All proposed resolutions were passed. Participants were provided with overviews on company operations, which are shared below.
African REDD Operations Update
ERA is developing a 300,000 hectare REDD+ project on the west side of Mai-NdombeLake in the Democratic Republic of Congo (the "DRC"). After entering into a Carbon Rights Agreement with the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Tourism in March 2011, ERA next entered into a contract for the country's first ever Conservation Concession on July 30, 2011. This contract provides that ERA will manage the concession area for 25 years and benefit from the carbon offsets generated by the project during that time. Current modeling indicates that the project may generate between 1.5 million and 3.0 million tonnes of carbon offsets per year for the next 25 years. Field crews are currently working in the project area to quantify the carbon intensity of the concession. Local leaders support the project which will provide long term socio-economic and environmental benefits for the region, including construction of four new schools which is underway in the concession area at the moment. ERA is now developing the Project Design Document (PDD) to be submitted for validation to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance Standard (CCBS) later this year, with necessary field work getting underway in early November, 2011. ERA is developing a Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) methodology for use in the project area in conjunction with independent third party VCS forestry and REDD experts. The company is also in discussions with international funds and others interested in becoming financiers and/or anchor buyers of the carbon offsets expected from the DRC project. Validation of the project to the CCBS standard is expected by mid-2012, with VCS validation and verification to follow later in the year. ERA expects to begin selling carbon offsets from the project upon CCBA validation in 2012. The company is also exploring other African forest based carbon projects and related opportunities which could produce carbon offsets for both the voluntary market and for trading under the European Union Emissions Trading System and/or emerging compliance markets.
North American Pre-Compliance Update - AB32 Expected To Go Live January 1, 2013
During 2011 ERA positioned itself to take advantage of policy developments leading to the creation of North American carbon offset trading markets, most notably in jurisdictions that are part of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). In August 2006, California led the way by passing into law its AB-32 legislation to address greenhouse gas emissions. On October 20, 2011 the California Air Resource Board (ARB) released the rules which will apply when California's carbon emissions cap and trade system begins operation on January 1, 2013. In addition, the ARB recently published the "Compliance Offset Protocol (for) U.S. Forest Projects" which provides the framework for forest project developers, like ERA, to develop carbon offset projects which will be fungible into California's trading system. These are significant developments as California will soon have the first North American "cap and trade" market, which is expected to include the world's largest market for forestry based carbon offsets. Initial estimates are that AB-32 may require up to 225 million tonnes of carbon offsets to meet compliance demand during its first 3 compliance periods, between 2013 and 2020. The market is expected to be in short supply and trading in pre-compliance carbon offsets has already begun as emitters and investors are beginning to establish inventories of carbon offsets in advance of the California system "going live" in 2013. Additional information on California's AB-32 legislation can be found in the link provided here: (http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/2011/cap_trade_overview.pdf).
ERA is presently expanding its expertise to include all aspects of the new ARB forestry protocol. ERA is also developing a pipeline of carbon offset projects expected to be eligible for trading under California's new emissions trading scheme. Specifically, resources are being directed towards strategic partnerships and origination opportunities, which could deliver multi-year streams of carbon offsets eligible for sale under the California system and, potentially, under the WCI should additional jurisdictions come on board. ERA is also exploring opportunities in other WCI jurisdictions such as British Columbia and Quebec, which are developing their own provincial emissions trading policies and are expected to align under the WCI banner in the next few years.
Current Voluntary Projects and Sales Update
During 2011 ERA celebrated both the completion of its award winning Denman Island Land Conservation project,and an Improved Forest Management project on 55,000 hectares of land owned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada known as "Darkwoods", and continued to implement its Community Ecosystem Restoration Program (CERP) in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. The Darkwoods project is the largest verified forestry carbon offset project undertaken in North America to date. All carbon offset tonnes developed from the DenmanIsland and CERP projects have been sold, as have carbon offset tonnes contracted to ERA from the Darkwoods project.
Duncan J. Manson, CEO of ERA commented, "We are encouraged by the progress we see in the development of international and regional carbon markets, despite the challenging economic environments in many jurisdictions. The pending implementation of the California cap and trade market is expected to open significant opportunities for the company both as a developer of qualifying forestry based carbon offset projects and as a provider of expertise in the field. The development of REDD carbon offset projects in Africa and elsewhere is another massive opportunity which the company is presently pursuing and will continue to pursue in the future. Our portfolio approach to developing projects and investing in developing compliance markets as well as the voluntary carbon market has enabled ERA to deliver high quality projects that meet customer needs, which is expected to continue as ERA grows and attracts motivated buyers and financial partners in the future."
About ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd.
A pioneer in forest restoration and conservation carbon offset projects; ERA has delivered over one million tonnes of carbon offsets to the voluntary market. The company's Community Ecosystem Restoration Program ("CERP") began in 2005 in British Columbia, Canada, and its activities have grown to include forest carbon projects in Canada, Africa, New Zealand and the United States. ERA's clients and product users include Air Canada, Catalyst Paper, Rolling Stone Magazine, HSE - Entega, The Forest Carbon Group AG, and Shell Canada Limited. ERA's carbon offset products are validated and verified to ISO-14064, CCBA, PFSI-VER, CAR and VCS standards.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
ERA CARBON OFFSETS LTD.
Duncan J. Manson, Chief Executive Officer
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: This document includes forward-looking statements as well as historical information. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the continued advancement of the company's general business development, research development and the company's development of forest-based carbon offsets. When used in this document, the words "anticipate", "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intent", "may", "project", "plan", "should" and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements. Although ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd. believes that their expectations reflected in these forward looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and no assurance can be given that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements include fluctuations in the marketplace for the sale of carbon credits, the inability to implement corporate strategies, the ability to obtain financing and other risks disclosed in our filings made with Canadian Securities Regulators.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Contacts: ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd. David Rokoss 604-973-6512 firstname.lastname@example.org www.eraecosystems.com
SOURCE: ERA Carbon Offsets Ltd.
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