Juni 2009 - Carbon Expo is the annual trade fair when it comes to the carbon market. Despite the worldwide economic and financial crisis, emission certificates are bought and sold on a global market which continues to enjoy dynamic growth. In 2008, certificates with a total value of €86 billion were traded. Of these, 26 percent were generated from CDM, JI and voluntary offset activities and a good 72 percent from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. CDM projects came up against some difficulties last year, however: achievable emission reductions from CDM activities dropped from 552 to 389 million t CO2-equivalent. Apart from the economic crisis and the resulting slump in demand for emission certificates, this decline is probably due to the increasing uncertainty regarding the future of the international climate regime beyond 2012.
At this year’s Carbon Expo, the German Environment Ministry shared the German Pavilion with atmosfair, the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt), Energieagentur NRW, FutureCamp, GTZ, KfW, Perspectives Climate Change and Pro2-Anlagentechnik. BMU believes this mix of manufacturers, services providers and intermediary organisations proved extremely fruitful. The intensive talks and consultations held in the German Pavilion are to be taken further next year. At the closing event on Friday afternoon, Franzjosef Schafhausen, section head at BMU, outlined the positive CDM trends of recent years and pointed to the important role of the flexible mechanisms beyond 2012. A successful conclusion to the negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009 will bring certainty as regards the future of the carbon market – and will be strong signal for Carbon Expo 2010 which will then be back on home ground in Cologne.
In cooperation with the KfW Bank, the German Environment Ministry set up the PoA Support Centre in autumn 2008. KfW presented its new PoA Blue Print Book at a side event which attracted over 60 visitors from all over the world. The book provides project developers with blueprints for use in designing their PoAs. These blueprints cover six typical sectors: replacing lightbulbs with energy efficient lighting, replacement or reconditioning of household cookers, biogas plants for rural households, solar-powered hot water supply, industrial boilers and energy efficient building modernisation. At the side event, a representative from Perspectives spoke about Osram’s successful implementation of an energy-saving lightbulb project in which two million lightbulbs were exchanged and emission reductions of one million t CO2-equivalent were achieved.
The country managers installed under Germany’s CDM/JI Initiative report on current and planned activities to strengthen the German network and provide support for individual CDM projects (project pipeline, portfolios and matching processes). Projects under the CDM/JI Initiative are underway in Brazil, China, India and parts of the MENA region (Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria) and these alone cover around 75 percent of the global CDM market. Started in September 2008, the initiative can already boast some impressive results: the global portfolio now contains over 100 CDM projects for inclusion in the project matching process in which project developers are matched with potential investors. A CDM/JI Initiative meeting held as a side event to the conference set the course for the upcoming next phase.
Voluntary Offset in Aviation Voluntary offset providers and project developers OneCarbon and atmosfair reported on their experience with the market for voluntary offset-generated certificates. Both private individuals and businesses can engage in voluntary offsetting, for example to offset the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from their air travel. In 2008, some 105,000 t CO2 were saved with offset projects launched by German provider atmosfair. The following issues were addressed at the event: developments in the voluntary offset market, existing standards, the definition of best practice when applied to air mile offsets and how the inclusion of air travel in the Emissions Trading Scheme from 2012 will affect the voluntary offset market.
Despite the late hour, the side event Perspectives and Potential of JI beyond 2012 hosted by the German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt), an arm of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), proved extremely popular. DEHSt used the event to present the preliminary results of a study on the potential for JI projects in Germany. According to the study, the greatest potential is seen in efficiency in buildings. And in the transport sector, one promising approach involves improving the infrastructure for cyclists to encourage use of bicycles instead of cars for journeys of up to five kilometres’ distance. Practical experience in project development was presented by EWE AG, Oldenburg, a regional energy provider based in northern Germany. EWE wants to motivate its customers to reduce gas consumption by providing additional financial incentives using the funds accrued from the sale of emissions certificates. DEHSt has already given the project the go-ahead and EWE will seek official approval in the near future.
Subsequent discussions concentrated on whether national offset projects will be possible within the European Union (EU) in future. Because most German projects are also financed by German investors, they are technically national offset projects rather than JI projects. The EU Emissions Trading Directive contains a set of provisions (Article 24a) for the third trading period (2013 – 2020) which can be used as a basis for implementing such projects. Thus, it is possible in principle to use market mechanisms in EU states to achieve emission reductions in those sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.