Has the Energy Transition Failed and is it Over?

Many fail to realize this is not the first energy transition.

Although the media have made it appear as if it’s the first energy transition, it’s not.

For example, the nuclear energy industry development which started in WW2 was a major energy transition. In today’s dollars, half a trillion dollars went into the research and development of nuclear reactors along with uranium mines and fabrication plants that would feed the operating nuclear reactors.

In fact, one of the most fascinating stories of collusion, corruption and cartels happened as America was developing its first energy transition. Amazingly, it almost “destroyed” the nuclear industry.

So, before you think the current Energy Transition has failed (which it is not over and will happen) let’s explain the drama that almost took down the first major Energy Transition in America.

Have you ever heard of the Yellow Cartel?

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The Yellow Cartel

Everyone knows about the oil cartel called OPEC. But did you know that in the 1970s, a uranium cartel was conspired by one of the largest mining companies in the world and the Canadian government?

From 1955 through 1970 hundreds of billions of dollars were being committed by the US, France, Sweden, Japan and West Germany to build nuclear power plants. The Yellow Cartel started in 1971 with the London based mining giant, Rio Tinto approaching the Canadian government concerning the formation of a cartel for controlling uranium market pricing.

The first official meeting occurred in February 1972, in Paris, and the International Uranium Cartel was created.

Eventually, 29 producing companies would become members of the International Uranium Cartel, which was nicknamed the ‘Yellow Cartel” for the color of yellowcake that the cartel was colluding to price fix.

Rio Tinto, Uranerz (the large German uranium producer in the 70s), the Canadian Government and ultimately a total 29 uranium producers made up the Uranium Cartel.

The Uranium Cartel was successful in increasing the price of uranium almost 10-fold in a few short years by deploying illegal tactics such as price fixing schemes.

Later, the Canadian government would form two uranium entities which would lead to the creation of Cameco, a top 5 uranium producer worldwide.

There were two real catalysts that caused the formation of the International Uranium Cartel. But why did Rio Tinto pitch this plan that almost would turn the energy world upside down and risk America’s energy security and the first major energy transition?

The first catalyst was the move by the US government to place an embargo on all foreign uranium in 1964 to protect its own uranium mines.

At that time, the United States consumed about 70% of the global uranium production (for both its military and energy needs) and with that demand for uranium now gone outside the USA, the price of uranium crashed to $5 per pound in 1970.

But because the price of uranium was so high during the 1950s and first half of the 1960s, significant amounts of risk capital was spent on exploration for new uranium deposits globally. As a result of all this new uranium exploration was major uranium discoveries were made in places like Niger and Australia.

By the late 1960s significant uranium deposits would be discovered in Australia such as Jabiluka 1 & 2.

Eventually the massive discovery of Olympic Dam which would become one of the largest polymetallic mines (including uranium) in the world. Olympic Dam would soon replace the depleting uranium from the Rum Jungle Mine in Australia which was producing uranium since 1954 and was shut down for good in 1971.

Because of and other events such as those mentioned above, by 1971, there was over 220 Million pounds of global uranium production and only 55 Million pounds of uranium global demand. The uranium market was oversupplied by 400%.

Because of both the US embargo on foreign supplies of uranium and an oversupply of uranium production to demand by 400%, the price of uranium was hovering around $5/pound in 1971.

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But because of the price fixing tactics of the Uranium Cartel, the price of uranium surged to $40/pound.

a line graph showing the price of carbon credits and the united states uranium price

The move in uranium prices brought down the world’s largest nuclear reactor builder in the world, Westinghouse Electric Corp. on September 8, 1975.

Westinghouse was able to become the world’s largest developer and installer of nuclear reactors because it had the best track record, nuclear technology and most importantly it promised a long-term supply of uranium feed to power the Westinghouse PWR reactors. A dream trifecta for large utilities and government entities alike.

To put things in perspective, half of the world’s current operating nuclear power plants are using the basis of Westinghouse’s PWR reactor technology. Between 1960 and 1970, Westinghouse was able to secure US government backed utility contracts (and same in Sweeden) worth tens of billions of dollars because Westinghouse committed to supply 65 million pounds to the American and Swedish nuclear reactors with a fixed price contract.

But things quickly turned very bad for Westinghouse. The utilities, citizens and the American Government. Because the price of uranium increased 10X (1000%) from when Westinghouse signed those fixed price utility contracts, on September 8th, 1975 Westinghouse announced that it would not honor the 65 million pounds of uranium it committed to the American and Swedish utilities.

It was revealed in legal documents that the American consumer ended up paying billions of dollars in additional electricity costs due to the Uranium Cartels actions. In fact, New York state alone paid over $1Billion in electricity prices shortly after the Yellow Cartel activities.

On October 15, 1976, Westinghouse took matters into its own hands. It filed for conspiracy, in violation of United States anti-trust laws against the 29 producing uranium companies that made up the International Uranium Cartel estimating damages between $4-6 Billion.

Uranium continued to soar after 1976, surpassing $100 per pound throughout the late seventies.

Around that time, people called for the end of the energy transition citing the negative impact caused by the Uranium Cartel. This was just one of many attacks survived by the uranium industry. In fact, the nuclear sector not only survived the Uranium Cartel fiasco, but Chernobyl, Fukushima and countless other project and sector setbacks over the years.

Right now, we are in the greatest energy transition in human history. Tens of trillions of dollars will be spent worldwide on energy transition and decarbonization. Nuclear is a big part of the solution.

In fact, without uranium, there is no clean, long term base load nuclear power. Which is why we are currently in one of the greatest uranium bull markets of all time.

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There are three uranium giants in global uranium production. The largest global producer came out of the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazatomprom. The third largest global uranium producer, as described above, was the result of the Canadian Government merging two state owned enterprises and created Cameco.

But do you know who the second largest producer of uranium globally is?

And the major moves this company is making after almost blowing itself up?

In an upcoming feature article, we will bring to the forefront the under the radar moves that the second largest producer of uranium is doing and how investors can benefit.

Global Consortium Backs Early Coal Retirement With Carbon Credits

The Coal to Clean Credit Initiative (CCCI), with help from The Rockefeller Foundation, teams up with ACEN Corporation to look into a pilot project in the Philippines, it revealed at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai. This plan aims to use credits earned from reducing carbon emissions to shut down a coal-powered plant. 

COP28, happening until December 12, is the largest conference to find solutions to shift the world away from fossil fuels. The consortium wants to replace the carbon-intensive plant with renewable energy while also helping out people who might be struggling. It is the first of its kind, aiming to move away from coal plants following the Paris Agreement. 

CCCI and ACEN are working with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to move this plan forward.

From Coal to Clean: A Paradigm Shift

If the world keeps relying too much on coal, these plants will release a massive amount of carbon emissions. In particular, current and planned coal-fired power plants will emit 273 billion tons of carbon dioxide over their lifetimes, according to the Rockefeller Foundation’s President, Dr. Rajiv J. Shah.

Annual Emission Reduction in Unabated Coal-Fired Generation

emissions unabated coal-fired power plants in net zero 2015-2030
Source: International Energy Agency

As per the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 scenario shown below, the world needs about 9% annual reduction in unabated coal-fired generation between 2022 and 2030.

Achieving such massive feat requires encouraging plant owners and communities to retire coal plants. And the CCCI agreement would be a way to do it in the Philippines. 

The project is focused on the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) coal plant. It could be the first coal plant in the world to use carbon credits to shut down early. 

While there are financial methods to support closing coal plants and switching to clean energy, it’s tough to use these methods in developing countries. The partners are checking if they can retire this plant early and change it to cleaner energy sources by 2030. That’s 10 years earlier than its originally planned retirement.

CCCI started in June 2023 with the aim to reward moving away from coal and shifting to clean energy in developing countries. They will incentivize such transition through ‘coal-to-clean’ credits, also called ‘transition credits’. 

Accelerating Energy Transition with Carbon Credits 

In a similar direction, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that it had tentatively agreed to shut down an Indonesian power plant much earlier than scheduled through its Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM).

The CCCI plans to work with programs like the ETM to accelerate the closure of power plants in the Philippines by using the credits. Vikram Widge, formerly in charge of carbon finance at the World Bank and involved in this initiative, shared this information.

A preliminary method for verifying these coal-to-clean credits has been put forward for public consultation. Verra, the leading global carbon standard, will approve the methodology.  

The method allows organizations to create customized projects shifting from coal to clean energy. These projects focus on what local communities need and then offer transition credits to buyers worldwide.

After public consultation, which runs until January 16, 2024, CCCI’s method is likely to be completed. Once finalized, it’s expected to enable one of the initial transactions involving transition credits in the global carbon markets

Entities can use these carbon credits voluntarily to mitigate their emissions or for meeting certain regulations. This initiative would assist in putting into action Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. It supports countries’ efforts to control global warming and keep the temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Global Collaboration for Climate Resilience

Authorities are aiming for stricter evaluation of carbon credits, as many environmental groups have criticized them for enabling the ongoing use of fossil fuels instead of decreasing emissions.

During COP28, numerous representatives suggested that establishing a global carbon price could be a part of the solution. Businesses argue that this could offer clarity for planning, but creating such a price has been challenging for many years.

Highlighting their innovative collaboration, Eric Francia, President & CEO of ACEN Corporation remarked during the announcement:

“Today’s development marks a critical contribution to accelerating a global energy transition. Without a rapid and proactively managed transition away from coal-fired power, the world will not meet its climate goals; the urgency of solving this problem cannot be understated.” 

ACEN Corporation operates around 4,500 megawatts (MW) of energy in the Philippines, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. Its renewable energy contribution is one of the highest in the region.

The CCCI news aligns with the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA) set to launch in April. The ETA, created by the Rockefeller Foundation and other organizations, shares a similar goal of speeding up the move away from coal. Days ago, the philanthropic organization announced a target to bring its $6 billion endowment to net zero emissions by 2050.

The ETA plans to achieve the clean transition by using what they claim are top-quality carbon credits. Their initial estimates suggest this approach could generate over $200 billion in transition finance by 2035. 

CCCI is teaming up with the COP28 Presidency to attract more interest from governments and get power companies in developing countries more involved. This effort aims to make the use of ‘transition credits’ a reality in transitioning the world towards cleaner and sustainable energy.

Voluntary Carbon Credit Buyers Willing to Pay More For Quality

The recently released “State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2023” report by Ecosystem Marketplace (EM) reveals a significant trend shift within the VCM. It identifies a concentration of demand toward high-integrity and high-quality voluntary carbon credits, despite their higher price, that offer co-benefits beyond mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

Analysis of transaction data indicates a substantial 82% surge in average carbon credit prices from 2021 to 2022, accompanied by a decline in overall transaction volumes. These findings imply a market consolidation among smaller yet dedicated purchasers willing to pay more for credits of superior quality. 

Notably, there’s a high demand for nature-based credits that hold certifications for co-benefits and align with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Here are the key points to particularly note from EM’s research.

5 Key Takeaways From the Report: 

  1. Prices are at their peak, volume is down

The average prices of voluntary carbon credits have reached their highest point in 15 years, while the overall trade volumes have declined from the peak seen in 2021. Even though the volume of voluntary carbon credits traded fell by 51%, the average price per credit surged significantly by 82%. It jumped from $4.04 per ton in 2021 to $7.37 in 2022, which hasn’t been seen since 2008. 

VCM credits by value 2005-2022
Chart from EM Report
VCM credits by volume 2005-2022
Chart from EM Report

Despite the drop in trade volume and value, this price increase allowed the VCM to remain relatively stable in 2022. In fact, despite dropping ~$0.40/ton, average prices to date in 2023 are still higher than in 15 years. 

  1. Nature-based credits take the biggest market share

Nature-based solutions (NBS) were a primary contributor to the high market value, constituting nearly half of the market share – 46%. NBS credit prices were more than doubled in 2021 and 2022. EM is also seeing more premium for these credits in preliminary 2023 VCM data. 

The average price of credits from nature-based projects, including forestry, land-use, and agriculture projects, witnessed an increase of 75% and 14%, respectively, from 2021 to 2022. 

VCM volume, value, and prices by project 2021-2023 REDD+ projects dominate the NBS credits, but also include other projects in the Agriculture and Forestry and Land Use categories. These include Sustainable Agriculture Land Management Afforestation/Reforestation/Revegetation (ARR), Agroforestry, Improved Forest Management (IFM), and Blue Carbon (mangroves, seagrasses).

Agriculture project credits, also called agricultural carbon credits, also experienced a substantial surge in volume, rising by 283%.

  1. Credits with co-benefits are pricier

Credits associated with robust environmental and social co-benefits, extending beyond carbon, commanded a significant price premium. Projects with at least one co-benefit certification had a 78% price premium compared to those lacking such certification. 

VCM with co-benefits are priced more

According to experts surveyed by Ecosystem Marketplace, these certifications are becoming increasingly necessary for buyers actively looking for these projects. Moreover, projects aligned with the UN SDGs demonstrated a considerable price premium, 86% higher than projects not linked to SDGs. This indicates a strong buyer preference for credits that contribute more to societal and environmental well-being. 

  1. Buyers prefer newer credits

Newer carbon credits are commanding a higher price, suggesting that voluntary buyers are inclined towards recent vintages featuring more robust methodologies. EM reporters also suggested that these buyers prefer credits closely aligning with their current emissions years. 

In 2022, there was a 57% premium for credits with a more recent vintage, reflecting recent emissions reduction activities, compared to a 38% recency premium observed in 2021. This comparison used a historical 5-year rolling cutoff date from the transaction year.

  1. CORSIA-eligible credits surge

Credits eligible under CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) experienced a significant surge in market value, marked by a 126% increase in price. The notable growth of CORSIA in the VCM in 2022 indicates an expanding relationship between compliance markets and the VCM. This is crucial for market participants due to several factors:

  • The quality criteria outlined by CORSIA have been adopted by the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) until the Integrity Council’s core carbon principles are fully established. 
  • CORSIA will enter its inaugural compliance phase in 2024. 
  • Countries are beginning to implement Paris Agreement’s Article 6, further emphasizing the relevance of CORSIA in broader carbon markets.

A Shift Towards Integrity and Quality

The latest report by Ecosystem Marketplace delves into self-reported transaction data from >160 participants in their annual market survey. These contributors represent credits sourced from 1,530 projects across over 130 project types traded globally. 

Typically, respondents encompass project developers, investors, and intermediaries. Moreover, data regarding project registrations, credit issuances, and retirements were collated from project registries, adding depth to the comprehensive analysis presented in the report.

Stephen Donofrio, Managing Director of Ecosystem Marketplace, highlighted the pivotal moment witnessed in the VCM, noting that:

“While the data do not show the same type of growth by volume present in previous reports, our market analysis shows a critical, increased shift in market behavior towards integrity and quality.”

Donofrio further emphasized the evolving sophistication of credit buyers, underscoring their eagerness to understand the actual impact of their investments.

EM’s full report is available for download here.

UAE’s $30B Climate Fund: A Boon or Concern for COP28 Dialogue?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is gearing up to launch a substantial climate-related investment fund, $30 billion, in collaboration with BlackRock, TPG, and Brookfield. 

This initiative coincides with the UAE‘s efforts to strengthen its position as host of the United Nations Climate Summit COP28.

UAE’s Strategic Climate Investment Fund 

Overseeing the fund is Lunate Capital, a new Abu Dhabi-based asset manager, backed by $50 billion in assets. 

Earlier this year, Lunate began operations under the guidance of UAE national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan. He is the brother of the Gulf state’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. Chimera Investment, along with its senior management, owns Lunate.

Executives of Abu Dhabi Growth Fund and Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ will be the managing partners of Lunate Capital. 

At least $5 billion of the fund’s investment is slated for Global South countries, reflecting the oil major’s intentions to allocate a significant portion of resources to these regions. Leveraging its significant oil and gas reserves, estimated at $2.5 trillion, UAE could direct substantial funds toward climate-related initiatives.

Sultan al-Jaber, the president of COP28, has consistently emphasized the importance of climate finance during the summit in Dubai. Up to 180 heads of state or government and tens of thousands of delegates are attending the summit over the next two weeks.

Financial Times’ analysis showed that the Arab nation was associated with about $100 billion in green energy investments this year. 

However, the UAE’s selection as COP28 host raised scrutiny due to concerns about its role in overseeing global climate negotiations. After all, it’s the world’s largest oil and gas producer. 

Climate Finance Landscape and COP28 Imperatives

Each year since the creation of the COP, member countries meet to discuss matters related to climate change. The COP’s 21st session created the Paris Agreement, a global consensus to collectively achieve critical climate goals.

One such goal is to limit global temperature rise by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieve net zero by 2050. To meet this goal, the world needs about $125 trillion in climate investments by 2050, according to 2021 UN research. 

Similarly, the International Energy Agency, noted that around $4.5 trillion is needed every year to be invested in clean energy by the early 2030s. 

In January, BloombergNEF reported that investment in clean energy transition increased by 31% in 2022, at $1.1 trillion.

global investment in clean energy transition by sector 2022

There has also been a movement to reform multilateral development banks’ financing focus, such as the World Bank and IMF. They have to pump more funds to climate-related investments. 

Over a week ago, the World Bank decided to certify forest carbon credits and climate finance to boost carbon markets. 

Meanwhile, there’s also a rising plea for private investors to work with public finance to support green projects. This is especially important in developing countries that lack enough funds to transition their energy systems to greener power sources. 

Plus, there is a shortfall in cash to make the world’s economies adapt to rising global temperatures. 

A climate finance expert remarked that the $30B investment is a serious figure that will make the UAE a center of climate finance.

‘Loss and Damage’ Fund: A COP28 Milestone

The first days of COP28 witnessed a pivotal moment with the establishment of a critical ‘loss and damage’ fund to assist vulnerable nations in handling climate-related disasters. COP28 President Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber lauded this as a positive step forward for the summit.

The creation of this fund prompted contributions from various nations, with the UAE leading with a commitment of $100 million. Subsequent pledges followed from Britain, the United States, Japan, Germany, and the European Union. 

A longstanding request from developing countries, the fund marks a good start for further negotiations during the two-week summit.

A think tank representative emphasized the importance of this breakthrough, highlighting that isolating the ‘loss and damage’ fund in negotiations could pave the way for more genuine agreements.

As COP28 unfolds in Dubai, the UAE’s $30 billion climate investment initiative alongside the establishment of a ‘loss and damage’ fund signifies both progress and scrutiny. 

While investments in climate action are lauded, the nation’s role as a major oil and gas producer sparks apprehensions. The climate summit’s early momentum via these initiatives presents a platform for crucial negotiations, setting the tone for meaningful compromises in the weeks ahead.

Nasdaq Reveals Revolutionary Tech for Carbon Credits to Propel Carbon Markets

Nasdaq has introduced a groundbreaking technology aimed at securely digitizing the issuance, settlement, and safekeeping of carbon credits. This innovative offering will be made available to market infrastructures, registry platforms, and other global service providers.

The primary objective of this service is to foster the growth and institutionalization of global carbon markets. 

Currently, the carbon credit market operates with bilateral trading and significant reliance on manual processes, limiting its scalability as the market progresses. This rigidity, combined with a lack of standardization in credit data, has hindered substantial capital inflows into the market.

Nasdaq’s Cutting-Edge Carbon Credit Digitization Technology

Executive Vice President at Nasdaq, Roland Chai, highlighted the need for flexibility, standardization, and connectivity in carbon markets. He further noted that:

“Bringing institutional grade technology to underpin the market will drive ever-greater liquidity across carbon marketplaces and open the possibility of greater interoperability between registries in the future.”

Nasdaq’s new technology will allow market operators and registries to create standardized digital credits and distribute them with full auditability throughout the transaction lifecycle. 

Nasdaq has also developed a carbon taxonomy framework that can readily incorporate new types of credit as the market expands. There will also be comprehensive APIs that will allow participants to seamlessly interact across the market. 

Together, this will help establish a standardized, trusted ecosystem capable of attracting high-quality liquidity from a variety of investors.  

Using smart contract technology, the service enables secure creation, processing, and management of rights linked to the underlying asset. By automating asset servicing and settlement procedures, the technology promises increased efficiency and transparency throughout the trade lifecycle.

carbon credit lifecycle

Digitization and automation will ensure a comprehensive audit trail of credit ownership and retirement. 

The issuance, settlement, and custody capabilities are adaptable to integrate with existing financial system architectures or operate as an independent platform. As such, it allows flexibility to connect with traditional payment networks and bilateral settlement options. 

This enables infrastructure providers to continue serving conventional markets while tapping into growth prospects in carbon markets without paying for the substantial costs associated with major changes.

Additionally, Nasdaq offers infrastructure optionality that enables the technology to be deployed on either a centralized database or using private blockchain technology.

Partnership for Carbon Removal Excellence

Alongside the service launch, Nasdaq has unveiled a collaboration with, a prominent standards and registry platform specializing in engineered carbon removal

Their partnership aims to register CO2 Removal Certificates (CORCs) and monitor the issuance, retirement, and transfer of these assets. The ultimate goal is to prevent duplication of carbon removal projects, ensuring complete traceability and transparency.

The game-changing technology will help propel the growth of voluntary carbon markets through a suite of APIs and standardized contracts. 

Standardizing carbon credit contracts is crucial. This is particularly critical at this time when questions arise regarding the real climate impacts of projects generating these credits.

As per Antti Vihavainen, CEO of, accurate management of carbon credit lifecycle is critical in establishing trust. With Nasdaq’s new technology, their carbon crediting infrastructure will be modernized.

It was in February last year when launched Puro Registry in Nasdaq, a public registry dedicated to CORCs.

The new system will be accessible through the Puro Connect API, catering to carbon marketplaces and exchanges. It will also align CORCs with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.’s Puro Standard represents the first carbon removal standard tailored for engineered carbon removals within the VCMIt also includes top-tier carbon removal methodologies in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) definition for carbon removal.

Certified carbon removals suppliers are verified by an independent third-party. Companies seeking to offset their carbon emissions can buy the CORCs directly from suppliers or through a third-party marketplace.

Nasdaq’s cutting-edge technology aims to transform carbon markets by offering digitized issuance, settlement, and custody for carbon credits.

The technology’s integration with Puro Connect API and adherence to IPCC guidelines sets a new standard for carbon removal within VCM. Nasdaq’s innovation paves the way for a dynamic, trusted ecosystem attracting diversified investors while modernizing the carbon crediting infrastructure for market growth.

Uranium Royalty Corp. Publishes First-Ever Sustainability Report


Uranium Royalty Corp. (URC) stands out as the sole uranium-focused royalty and streaming company listed on the NASDAQ, offering investors exposure to uranium commodity prices. URC‘s portfolio includes strategic acquisitions in uranium interests like royalties, streams, debt, equity in uranium companies, and physical uranium trading.

The company, trading as (NASDAQ: UROY, TSX: URC), recently released its inaugural 2023 Sustainability Report. It outlines URC’s sustainability approach, performance, and future goals, including the following highlights:

  • Strengthening due diligence processes, with 100% of deals reviewed using an enhanced sustainability approach.
  • Enhancing corporate risk management practices.
  • Approving Sustainability, Anti-Corruption, and Corporate Disclosure Policies, emphasizing sustainability commitment and robust governance.
  • Achieving 33% diversity in both female and ethnically diverse representation in executive management.
  • Contributing approximately $48,000 to local community programs.

Scott Melbye, URC’s CEO, expressed pride in presenting the report, emphasizing their position as the sole uranium royalty company. 

URC has a growing portfolio of 20 interests across 18 uranium projects in key jurisdictions. By applying a successful royalty and streaming model to the uranium sector, URC offers vital capital to uranium mining companies, supporting a cleaner future through carbon-free nuclear energy.

Melbye stressed URC’s role in promoting sustainability and innovation in mining. The company diligently selects operators sharing values of responsible environmental stewardship and robust community support, striving to foster long-term relationships based on these principles.

Uranium For A Net Zero World

According to the World Nuclear Association, tripling of nuclear generation is what the world needs to achieve carbon reduction goals and meet growing global energy demand. 

For the International Energy Agency, the nuclear industry has to double in size over the next 2 decades to meet net zero emissions targets. And according to McKinsey’s forecast, nuclear power generation needed in 2050 is massive. 

Nuclear Power Requirement in 2050

Currently, there are only 400+ nuclear reactors in operation worldwide. But 90 nuclear reactors are on order or planned globally, with 300+ more in the proposal stage.

And as nations strive to reduce carbon emissions, nuclear power presents a viable option for a large-scale energy source. Emerging economies in Asia are investing heavily in nuclear power. China and India, in particular, are considering nuclear energy for powering up energy grids, pumping up demand for uranium. 

Nuclear energy will play a major role in the global energy mix as the world moves towards net zero. And Uranium Royalty Corp is at the forefront in revolutionizing how business is done in the uranium sector. It is the only business leveraging innovative deals involving uranium. 

URC’s strategic approach aims to support cleaner, carbon-free nuclear energy while fostering long-term relationships based on sustainability principles. As the world looks toward nuclear power for achieving net zero goals, URC is ready to lead the charge in using uranium for a sustainable future.

Disclosure: Owners, members, directors and employees of have/may have stock or option position in any of the companies mentioned: UROY receives compensation for this publication and has a business relationship with any company whose stock(s) is/are mentioned in this article

Additional disclosure: This communication serves the sole purpose of adding value to the research process and is for information only. Please do your own due diligence. Every investment in securities mentioned in publications of involve risks which could lead to a total loss of the invested capital.

Please read our Full RISKS and DISCLOSURE here.

VCMI Unveils New Rules for Net Zero Using High-Integrity Carbon Credits

The Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) has introduced additional guidance for its Claims Code of Practice, allowing firms to make claims about their use of high-quality carbon credits. 

The new guidance encompasses a Monitoring, Reporting, and Assurance (MRA) Framework, an identity mark for asserting ‘Carbon Integrity’ Claims. It’s also an initial version of an added claim, labeled ‘Scope 3 Flexibility.’

Commending VCMI’s new guidance, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, stated: 

“By creating sound guardrails for the use of high-quality carbon credits, the new VCMI guidance will provide strong assurance that this finance will help deliver the greater climate action we so urgently need.”

Using the new framework and the ‘Carbon Integrity’ Claims branding, companies can now make Silver, Gold, or Platinum Claims, following the original Claims Code published in June. 

It empowers companies to declare their use of high-quality carbon credits, channeling financial support toward initiatives that counteract climate change. It also showcases their efforts in surpassing science-based emissions reductions.

Fast-tracking Net Zero with High-Integrity Carbon Credits

Voluntary carbon markets (VCMs), when used properly, can increase financial resources directed toward low- and middle-income economies. They can significantly aid in achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Estimates suggest that if companies begin investing in VCMs as part of their net zero strategies today, over $50 billion could be unlocked by 2030. This exponential growth in VCM demand is illustrated below, going beyond 900 metric tons of carbon dioxide. 

projected growth of carbon offset demand

Evidence indicates that companies engaging in these markets tend to be more ambitious and undergo faster decarbonization compared to those that do not. 

As per Ecosystem Marketplace analysis, buyers in VCMs are 1.8x more likely than non-buyers to continually reduce their footprint.

But there’s a big catch to achieve that: voluntary carbon markets must work with integrity.

That means carbon credits must genuinely represent verified reductions and removals of emissions, complying with robust environmental and social standards. Companies should use these credits in addition to—rather than as a substitute for—decarbonization efforts in their transitions to net zero. 

Claims associated with these credits must be credible and reliable. Adhering to the VCMI Claims Code, which includes the newly provided guidance, ensures the assurance of these principles.

VCMI’s Executive Director, Mark Kenber, noted the relevance and timing of the release of this new guidance. He said that as COP28 approaches, discussions about VCMs will regain prominence and that “it is important that what is discussed is the promotion of credible, and believable, climate action”. 

With the new guidelines for credible claims, companies can credibly use carbon credits and be confident in doing so.

The Scope 3 Flexibility Claim

Moreover, the VCMI has launched the beta version of a new claim – the Scope 3 Flexibility Claim. It’s a practical step to hasten corporate climate action. It permits companies to use carbon credits while scaling their internal decarbonization investments and initiatives. 

Once completed in 2024, this claim allows companies to be accountable for their Scope 3 emissions while moving toward their net zero goals by using high-quality carbon credits. Stringent measures are in place to ensure the integrity of this claim and prevent its misuse.

Scope 3 refers to the indirect emissions from the company’s value chain. 

According to MSCI Carbon Markets, about $19 billion could be mobilized if companies used the credits to fill the emissions gap between their scope 3 reductions targets and current emissions.

VCMI has established guardrails to further promote integrity in the new claim and prevent greenwashing, including: 

Carbon Integrity Claim guardrails

Making the First VCMI Claims

The launch of the ‘Carbon Integrity’ brand and the MRA Framework is a significant milestone, enabling companies to initiate their first VCMI claims.

The ‘Carbon Integrity’ Claims is a distinct brand for such claims with a tagline “accelerating global net zero”. They signify that corporations are actively propelling the achievement of that goal. 

The brand showcases a unique mark used across the Carbon Integrity Claims, with variations denoting the type of Claim—Silver, Gold, or Platinum. 

VCMI Carbon Integrity Claims type

The newly released guidelines aim to assist companies in effectively communicating their attainment of Carbon Integrity Claims.

On the other hand, the new MRA Framework serves as a mechanism for companies to substantiate their claims. Under this framework, companies provide details satisfying the Claims Code’s Foundational Criteria, setting the standard for optimal corporate climate action. 

Additionally, companies must disclose essential information concerning the carbon credits used to support their claims. This information will then undergo independent verification by a third party, reinforcing the credibility of the Carbon Integrity Claims.

Consequently, the MRA Framework forms the foundation of authority that upholds the authenticity and credibility of Carbon Integrity Claims within the VCMI framework.

The VCMI Claims Code of Practice serves as a rulebook outlining how companies can ethically use carbon credits within credible, science-aligned pathways toward achieving net zero decarbonization. By establishing this guidance, VCMI aims to cultivate trust and bolster confidence in how companies participate in voluntary carbon credit markets. 

Rockefeller Foundation Aims 2050 Net Zero for $6B Endowment

Ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, UAE, The Rockefeller Foundation made a significant announcement. The foundation is targeting net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for its $6 billion endowment by 2050. This move positions it as the largest private U.S. foundation to pursue such a target.

Following other US institutions like Harvard University, which committed in 2020 to reaching net zero emissions for its >$50 billion endowment by the same deadline, Rockefeller’s next step involves driving more significant decarbonization efforts. 

The Rockefeller Foundation’s Net Zero Influence

President Rajiv Shah highlighted The Rockefeller Foundation‘s commitment to divesting from fossil fuels 3 years ago. They have pledged $1.5 million to a global initiative that will support developing countries’ transition towards clean energy. 

Rockefeller Foundation investment to transition to clean energy
Image from The Rockefeller Foundation

Today, they are focusing on pushing for greater decarbonization through both direct investments and influence. 

According to the foundation’s Chief Investment Officer, Chin Lai, the move is more than their endowment. Lai commented noted: 

“Because net zero is a collective goal… we will encourage our fund managers to engage with companies on emissions reduction plans, invest in climate solutions, and use our convening power to advance net zero adoption among investors.”

Lai outlined three strategies for Rockefeller to extend its net zero influence. 

  • First, working with money managers who can have a more significant impact on decarbonization efforts. 
  • Second, directly investing in companies offering climate change solutions (pledging $1B to climate solutions over the next 5 years). 
  • Third, establishing benchmarks to measure progress and sharing these with other investors, aiming to encourage wider participation in their efforts.

The 5 Core Guiding Principles

The new strategy centers around maintaining the endowment’s crucial role in providing sustainable funding for The Rockefeller Foundation’s global initiatives. It primarily focuses on engaging with asset managers and other stakeholders on data, disclosures, and decarbonization plans. 

Moreover, it emphasizes investments in climate solutions and other climate-focused strategies. The strategy aims to exert influence by organizing influential gatherings, advancing collaboration, setting standards, promoting best practices, and fostering shared learning.

The net zero strategy for the $6 billion endowment rests on five core principles:

  1. Prioritize Real-World Change: Prioritizing scalable approaches today and technologies expected to scale in the next 15-20 years.
  2. Be Pragmatic: Recognizing diverse roles in asset classes, investment managers, and vehicles .
  3. Learn Continuously: Recognizing that there isn’t a single correct method for an investor, fund manager, or company to achieve net zero.
  4. Maintain Accountability: Promoting transparency at both portfolio and manager levels and committing to regularly share progress to uphold accountability.
  5. Lead by Example: Organizing crucial stakeholder gatherings and leveraging The Rockefeller Foundation’s influence and voice in the investment industry and philanthropic institutions.

Going Beyond Setting Net Zero Targets 

The Foundation’s philanthropic journey traces back to 1913 when it started with an initial endowment of $100 million from John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil. It’s a company that once held control over more than 90% of petroleum production in the United States. 

Over the past 110 years, the Foundation has invested $26 billion in philanthropic capital. This recent policy continues the Foundation’s commitment, initiated in 2020, to divest its endowment from existing fossil fuel interests.

Additionally, it pledges to abstain from making any future investments in fossil fuels, building upon this ongoing dedication to environmentally responsible investing.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s new net zero endowment policy aligns its internal investment strategy with the commitment to spend over $1 billion to drive the global climate transition. This comprehensive climate strategy, unveiled in September, also involves efforts to achieve a net zero standard for its facilities.

The Foundation’s operational sites, spanning from its headquarters in New York City to locations in Washington, D.C.; Nairobi, Kenya; Bangkok, Thailand; Bellagio, Italy; and other operational areas worldwide, are included in this initiative. 

As part of this ongoing effort, The Rockefeller Foundation completed its assessment of the accounting of its carbon footprint for the baseline year of 2022. The evaluation revealed an estimated annual emission of 12,000 metric tons of greenhouse gasses across its operations.

The Foundation’s Roadmap to Net Zero is still in process and will be finalized in early 2024.

With that, the Foundation’s goal extends beyond establishing targets and strategies for reducing carbon emissions across Scope 1, 2, and 3. It also aims to collaborate with and support others within its ecosystem by sharing the knowledge gained and the progress made during this journey toward decarbonization.

The Rockefeller Foundation’s 2050 net zero is a milestone in climate-focused philanthropy. Their dedication to transparency, innovation, and accountability is a significant step towards driving systemic change in the fight against climate change.

Revolutionizing Forest Protection: Verra Introduces New REDD+ Methodology

Verra, a nonprofit that works on climate action and verifies carbon credits, has introduced a new way to protect forests. This method, which is under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) program, is a big change in how they measure the impact of activities that help keep forests safe and decrease the amount of greenhouse gasses (GHG) they produce. 

The new approach also matches the rules set by countries in their plans to lower emissions under the Paris Agreement. As such, it opens doors for more global investment in safeguarding nature.

Redefining REDD Methodology for Enhanced Quality and Alignment

The new REDD methodology involves two essential firsts for Verra:

  • A new approach to the baseline-setting process that decreases the potential for conflict of interest and adds greater quality control; and
  • Aligns key features of forest projects with global and government action for the first time.

Toby Janson-Smith, Verra’s Chief Program Development and Innovation Officer, emphasized the importance of forests in meeting our global climate goals. He noted that deforestation causes about ⅕ of the world’s GHG emissions, further adding that:

“…carbon markets are the best and most readily available tool we have for forest protection. Today marks a substantial advancement for ensuring the integrity of REDD and supporting the scaling up of these critical activities.” 

This new way of working has been in progress since 2020 and focuses on REDD. It means “Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation”. 

REDD covers various activities, from stopping illegal logging to helping forest communities find other ways to make a living. This system has safeguarded large areas of forests worldwide and directed millions of dollars to communities in developing countries that take care of these forests.

Under this new methodology, Verra will handle the process of setting the baselines for measuring the impact of REDD activities. They will use specific data and a strong process to estimate the expected deforestation in an area. Advanced remote-sensing technologies and a robust risk assessment will be used to achieve accurate calculations. 

This would help ensure that the number of reduced emissions verified from all projects in an area matches the overall measurement for that region. Such an approach brings consistency, lessens possible conflicts of interest, improves quality control, and better supports government actions.

Empowering Carbon Markets with High-Integrity Forest Projects

A senior director for Verra’s REDD+ program, Naomi Swickard, emphasized the role of carbon markets in ensuring that forest projects “deliver nationally aligned high-integrity credits”. She added that it assures buyers that their contributions truly count towards climate action while benefiting biodiversity and local communities. 

Overall, it will boost the value of REDD+ projects in carbon credit markets.

  • In 2022, more than 400 million REDD+ credits have been issued on the VCM, accounting for a quarter of total credits issued in the market.

For those new to the space, Verra’s REDD+ projects were scrutinized by a team of investigative journalists at the beginning of the year. They claimed that the carbon credits from those projects likely don’t represent real emission reductions.

Verra responded that their findings are incorrect because their studies miscalculate the impact of the organization’s forest projects. 

The newly released REDD+ methodology is the outcome of teamwork and agreement among experts and stakeholders in the carbon market. According to Verra, it’s a work among co-authors, including Tim Pearson of GreenCollar, Kevin Brown and Sarah Walker of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Till Neeff, Simon Koenig of Climate Focus, and Manuel Estrada. 

What’s Next?

There would also be an allocation tool soon to be launched that will complement the new methodology. 

Verra has outlined a clear plan for how current Avoided Unplanned Deforestation (AUD) projects will transition to this new methodology. The roadmap also details what the transition process will involve. Here’s an important piece of information about the transition. 

Transition to Verra's new REDD methodology Moreover, Verra will provide a route to Core Carbon Principles (CCP) labeling under the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets (ICVCM) for previously verified emission reductions and issued VCS carbon credits. 

This will happen once the VCS program is evaluated by ICVCM as CCP-Eligible and it’s recognized in a CCP-Approved category. This pathway will allow project initiators to voluntarily switch their projects to the new methodology and adjust previous project calculations accordingly. 

Detailed information about this transition concerning various methodologies will be available in the upcoming months.

Verra’s new REDD+ methodology marks a pivotal moment in safeguarding forests and reducing global GHG emissions. This groundbreaking approach not only enhances quality control but also fosters greater confidence in carbon markets, driving investments towards nature preservation and supporting climate action.

New Rules to Jumpstart China’s Voluntary Carbon Credit Market

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) in China released guidelines signalling the revival of the domestic voluntary carbon market (VCM), alongside revealing the rules for account registration, giving final touches on the market’s reboot.

China’s VCM, known as China Certified Emission Reduction (CCER), restarted after a six-year hiatus. The market had been paused since 2017 for new project registrations while the government sought to strengthen regulatory frameworks.

The Role of China’s Voluntary Carbon Market

China introduced its national compliance emissions trading system (ETS) in 2021, being one of the first Asian countries to do so. The world’s largest in terms of emissions covered, China’s ETS is estimated to account for >40% of its carbon emissions. This footprint is largely from its power sector. 

After the completion of the first compliance period for China’s ETS, the government has been preparing to relaunch its CCER.

The discontinuation of the CCER plan in 2017 was due to low trading volumes and inadequate carbon audit standards. With the establishment of China’s national ETS, the revival of the CCER system gained momentum, aiming to address previous shortcomings and bolster carbon reduction efforts.

Under CCER, carbon emitters compensate credit-holding entities, such as renewable energy producers, for their credits. These voluntary CCER credits allow companies within the compliance markets, ETS, to offset their emissions.

They can be used to cover shortfalls in China Emissions Allowances (CEAs) or as tradable credits within the national ETS. But their use for offsetting emissions is restricted to only 5% of emissions exceeding the national ETS targets. 

Earlier this year, the MEE introduced new legislation and approved 4 methodologies for CCER credit issuance, clearing the path for new projects and supplies to enter the market. The Beijing Green Exchange, to host the trading platform for CCER credits, also issued rules for CCER trading and settlement.

VCM Complementing the Compliance Market

China’s VCM reopening may increase supplies for compliance market companies, allowing them to use the credits to offset their emissions. 

China compliance carbon market price and volume
Chart from S&P Global Commodity Insights

Since 2021, the compliance carbon price hit a record of $10.12/mtCO2e on August 18, surpassing the $10/mtCO2e mark for the first time. This ETS price traded 4x – 5x that of international voluntary carbon prices, partly due to the government tightening policy and resolving compliance problems.  

Moreover, the increasing awareness of climate issues among the public might lead to tangible policy changes and a gradual transition in the business approaches of state-owned enterprises towards decarbonization. These businesses have also begun to manage their carbon assets strategically like physical assets. 

However, some experts speculate that the availability of government-backed CCER registry credits may reduce voluntary carbon credit supplies from China in the international market. This shift could be due to more favor on government-backed credits, which could have higher prices compared to VCM credits. 

Go here for the most recent China ETS prices

Per S&P Global Commodity Insights, nearly 21% of VCM credits issued globally in Q1 of 2023 came from China. This figure emphasizes the nation’s major role in the international carbon credit market. 

New Rules for CCER Credits Trading 

With the new guidance from the MEE, a project would be qualified to generate CCER credits by meeting the following criteria:

  • Perform a comprehensive and accurate emission reductions accounting;
  • Estimations of emission reductions must be conservative;
  • Transparent disclosure of a project’s information; and
  • Not registered twice under other ETS.

The MEE-approved methodologies include forestation, mangrove cultivation, solar thermal power and grid-connected offshore wind power projects. But there are other projects that can also potentially participate in CCER credits trading, including:

In terms of registration, trading, and settlement of CCER credits, the new rules set no restrictions on who can participate. Businesses under the compliance carbon market, project developers, and other trading entities can trade CCER credits. 

According to the Beijing exchange, which will solely manage and publish all trading information, forms of trading include the following:

  • Listed transactions
  • Block trades
  • One-way bidding

For carbon credit price fluctuations, changes should not go beyond 10% above or below the base price for listed transactions. Base price refers to the weighted average price in the previous trading period. For block trades, price changes should be limited to 30% above or below the base price. 

However, there’s currently no clear indication on how a foreign investor can engage in China’s domestic carbon markets.

Ultimately, non-public trading is illegal and strictly not allowed to disclose such information for CCER credits trading. Similar measures were published by the host of the Chinese compliance carbon market to avoid leakage of information. 

Despite these measures, the official timeline for the CCER market’s restart has yet to be announced by the MEE. Yet, their introduction indicates the readiness of the CCER market for a prompt relaunch, aiding the biggest polluter to lower its towering carbon emissions.