WHAT IS CARBON CREDIT?
The concept of Carbon Credit has come to the fore with the opening of the Kyato protocol for signature all over the world. The protocol has determined national quotas for greenhouse gas emissions of 40 developed countries that are parties. Thus, carbon credit exchange has started between developed countries that do not want to exceed their quotas and organizations that want to show their environmental awareness, and voluntary countries such as Turkey that have not signed the protocol.
What is the Kyoto Protocol and How Has It Evolved?
- Valid for the years 2008 – 2012,
- To stop global warming by reducing greenhouse gas (CO2,CH4,N2O,HFC,PFC,SF6) emissions to 5% below 1990 levels.
- It started carbon trading by developing Flexibility Mechanisms implemented between Annex-1 and Annex-2 countries.
- The UN Environment Organization and the World Meteorological Organization established the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) to investigate the issue of climate change.
- In 1992, UNFCCC (United Nations Frame Convention on Climate Change) was opened for signature in New York. It came into effect in 1994.
- In 1997, the protocol (Kyoto Protocol), which includes what needs to be done on climate change, was opened for signature in Kyoto.
- At the COP meeting held in Marrakesh in 2001, the rules on how to implement the Protocol were detailed.
- In 2005, with the participation of Russia, the Protocol became valid.
Carbon Offset Concept
An important link in the solution of the crisis faced with climate change is the carbon offset market.
Paying someone else to avoid or absorb a ton of CO2 elsewhere is called carbon offsetting. In this way, it is theoretically possible to compensate for their own emissions.
The total size of the carbon market is approximately 20 Billion Euros in 2006 and Voluntary Markets constitute approximately 62.6 Million Euros of this.
Why Do We Get ‘VER’ Certificates?
Although Turkey is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which entered into force in 1994, it has not signed the Kyoto Protocol, which is an annex to this convention.
Carbon credits created in our country can only be traded in voluntary markets. In recent years, the interest of institutions and organizations that want to balance carbon emissions in carbon credits created in countries that are not included in the Kyoto Protocol, such as Turkey, have increased significantly.
‘VER’-Voluntary Emission Reduction Certificates -Voluntary Emission Reduction: These are carbon certificates valid in countries such as Turkey and the USA, for countries that are not members of the Kyoto Protocol.
Most Valid Standards in Voluntary Markets
- Gold Standard (GS)
- Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS)
What is the Gold Standard?
- It is a non-profit organization supported by 60 NGOs headquartered in Switzerland.
- It provides a guide for the provision of high quality emission reduction projects in voluntary markets, taking into account climate change and sustainable development.
- The project must have clear contributions to sustainable development (local and global environmental, social and technological development). The sustainability matrix is used to track the contributions.
- If required by the legislation in the country where the project is carried out, an EIA is made.
Gold Standard Environmental and Social Requirements?
Environmental Requirements: The project must provide environmental benefits. Major adverse environmental impacts that cannot be compensated cause the project to be eliminated.
Social Requirements: The project should be beneficial to social, economic and technical development. The opinions of local stakeholders are taken during the planning phase of the project.
Before the validation is over, two meetings are held with local stakeholders and their opinions are taken.
Sustainable development indicators (air quality, water quality, biodiversity, etc.) were determined in order to define the benefits of the project.
What is the main purpose of the Gold Standard?
- To bring criteria that will allow quality comparison to the project market
- Providing a guide for buyers/investors
- To reward all efforts in this direction
How Does the Gold Standard Work?
- The gold standard is generally accepted as the most stringent quality criteria in voluntary markets.
- It is a good guide for the development of loan projects
- It is on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects
- Additionality is clearly defined
- Sustainable Development must be proven
- 3rd Party Inspections and review required
- Stakeholders can contribute much better
What is VCS?
- It is an advanced carbon offset standard and focuses only on GHG reduction attributes. The project need not have additional environmental and social benefits.
- The first standard was published in 2006 by TCG, IETA and WEF. It was published in November 2007, referring to the revisions made to previous versions by 19 members of the board, NGO, DOE, industrial
- companies, project developers, and large offset buyers. Later, 2007.1 and Version 3 updates were made.
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development was included in VCS in 2007 as a funder.
- It operates as a non-profit organization in Switzerland.
What is the main purpose of VCS?
- Providing cheaper validation and verification while maintaining basic quality levels
- Many tasks performed by the EB in CDM are outsourced. The organization can operate very lean.
How does VCS work?
- Many tasks performed by the EB in CDM are outsourced.
- The organization can work very lean and it increases the quality of the work being given to the professionals.
- The disadvantage is that decision-making power is vested in external institutions.
- DOE not required, the auditor can approve the project himself. Conflicts of interest abound.
- Emission reductions recorded by this mechanism are called VCU (Verified Carbon Units) and 1 VCU is equivalent to 1 m3 of CO2 reduction.
- Project Size: micro projects(<5.000tons CO2/year),project(5.000-1.000.000 tons CO2/year),megaproject(>1.000.000 tons CO2/year)
- VCS focuses only on emission reductions and does not expect environmental or social benefits. This is the most fundamental difference between it and the Gold Standard. Compliance with legal obligations is a requirement in both standards.
Problems and Suggestions Regarding Carbon Emission Certificates in Turkey
- Lack of support letter from government : Starting work
- Calculation of Turkey’s emission value differently by each consultant firm: Establishment of an Association or the Government’s work
- DOEs’ failure to understand systems in Turkey: Making a Booklet
- Lack of information about the sector in the public: Making promotions in the media and ensuring the participation of NGOs in this process
- The public does not play a role in the monitoring, approval and registration process in the Voluntary Carbon Market: Establishment of an initial system similar to the Designated National Authority and registry system in Turkey
- Lack of support in the realization of carbon footprint calculations in companies: Conducting awareness and encouragement studies
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