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CHAPTER 1 Introduction and Background This Primer is intended to: 1. Provide a comprehensive overview of the evolving greenhouse gas (GHG) credit or carbon credit and related markets. 2. Describe the role airports play in these markets. 3. Identify areas where U.S. airports may be able to participate and capture additional revenue or other forms of reputational or environmental stewardship value from these markets. In this arena, and for the purposes of the Primer, the term "carbon" is used interchangeably with GHG. Carbon value generation can come in many forms--new and enhanced revenue streams, as well as risk (regulatory and reputational) reduction and avoidance. Airport sponsors of certain project types have the potential to realize additional revenues and capture other forms of value. Four case studies were prepared as part of this Primer. To date, few airports have sought addi- tional revenue streams from carbon reducing projects and investments. The case studies examine actual projects implemented at airports and explore how airports might seek additional revenue from various carbon reducing activities. The principal focus of the Primer is identifying value generating opportunities for airports offered by carbon markets. However, in order for airports to identify areas of potential value, a general understanding of carbon markets and their instruments is required. The Primer is organized to provide the user background on carbon markets, carbon instruments, and the current state of carbon markets for context and is followed by content to inform airport participants how to ultimately implement carbon related initiatives. Scientific data suggest that anthropogenic or human-caused GHG emissions are increasing the Earth's temperature and altering atmospheric patterns. The Intergovernmental Panel on Cli- mate Change (IPCC) concluded in its Fourth Assessment Report that "Most of the observed in- crease in global temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to observed in- crease in anthropogenic GHG concentrations" (Solomon 2007). This is placing significant pressure on governments, businesses, and individuals to reduce GHG emissions. Reducing car- bon emissions has the potential to come at great cost. Market-based programs are popular pol- icy frameworks that provide a flexible means to reduce GHG emissions and meet overall reduc- tion targets while minimizing the overall cost. "Cap-and-trade" programs are a common market-based program employed to reduce emissions. 5