30 mei 2008
Dutch Climate Fund purchases emission reductions in Cambodia
“At the moment we are aiming at the voluntary market”, says Harrie Oppenoorth of the Hivos Climate Fund. “For instance, we would like to match Dutch gas companies with the biogas programme. But individuals can also compensate for their CO2-emissions by buying these Cambodian reductions, and thereby invest in poverty reduction at the same time. We feel this is a much more attractive option than compensating for emissions by planting trees, as many people do at the moment.” The Cambodian emission reductions are not part of emission trading under the official UN Clean Development Mechanism, because the number of emission reductions is too small and SNV and the Hivos Climate Fund consider it therefore too expensive at the moment.
For SNV, the Hivos Climate Fund deal is one more agreement which makes use of carbon market revenues (certified and voluntarily) for biogas projects. Earlier agreements have been signed with the World Bank, Dutch rock band Normaal and MDF Indochina. “We are constantly looking for new opportunities and partners in this field”, says Wim van Nes, SNV’s biogas specialist. “Carbon credits could be of great value to sustain biogas projects without development aid. For years it was almost impossible to get certification for these small-scale projects. However, since the Bali climate conference in December last year, some new opportunities have emerged and we are eager to explore these.”
SNV has wide experience with biogas in Asia. Over 220,000 biogas plants have been built in Nepal, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Laos, contributing to the quality of life of about 1.5 million people. Biogas sectors are being developed to sustain the current programmes, especially by promoting the private sector. Many of the 500 biogas companies and mason teams trained under the programs are capitalizing on the business opportunities of the emerging commercial biogas sector in countries like Vietnam and Nepal. Asia’s biogas experience was extended to Africa in the framework of the Africa Biogas Initiative, which was launched in Nairobi in May 2007. Over 100 units have been installed in Rwanda in 2007.
In the first phase of the Cambodian biogas programme, 17,500 plants will be built. Biogas plants produce gas from cow and pig manure. This gas can be used for cooking. Cambodian women traditionally use wood for cooking, inhaling a lot of smoke in the process. Furthermore, wood is scarce in the Cambodian countryside and becoming more expensive each day. Biogas is faster, healthier and helps reduce deforestation. The manure which remains in the plant after producing the gas can still be used for agricultural purposes.
A minimum of twenty kilograms of manure a day enable a family to power a stove and one or two gas lamps. In Cambodia, each biogas plant for domestic use reduces CO2 emission by almost six tons per annum. This being more than half the amount of carbon dioxide a Dutch household produces yearly, two biogas plants will be sufficient to compensate for these emissions over a period of ten years. The income resulting from the emission reduction sale can be used to extend and improve the programme in Cambodia.P+ webtip 1: Hivos Climate Fund
P+ webtip 2: SVN World