Clean Development Mechanism
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Technologies, located in Houston, Texas, provides
project development services that generate clean energy and significantly
reduce greenhouse gas emissions and
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Savings Program with No Capital Investment from Qualified Clients
Party Ownership and Project Development
Tag (Renewable Energy Credit, Carbon Dioxide Credits, Emission
Reduction Credits) Brokerage Services; Application and Permitting
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Kyoto Protocol and the Clean Development Mechanism
What is the Clean Development Mechanism?
The Clean Development Mechanism as it relates to industrialized countries
and their their nation's companies are able to earn "Emission
Reduction Credits", while developing countries acquire technology and capital and earn
Emission Reduction Credits that
can either be banked or sold. Additionally the Clean Development Mechanism
grants Emission Reduction Credits
for investments in new, emissions-reduction projects that are located in developing countries.
The Clean Development Mechanism
is a Kyoto Protocol "flexibility mechanism"
that was authorized under Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol which oversees emissions reductions in projects
that are located in developing nations. These countries are not subject to
the binding greenhouse gas emissions caps under the
Kyoto Protocol. Under the Clean
Development Mechanism, investors from Annex I countries receive Certified
Emission Reduction units for the actual amount of greenhouse gas emissions reduction achieved, subject to host country agreement and the
Clean Development Mechanism Adaption Charge.
A key component of the CDM is the requirement of additionality. Certified Emission Reduction units generated under the CDM will only be recognised when the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are additional to any that would occur in the absence of the certified project activity.
If necessary, the CDM presumes administrative assistance in locating project financing, if necessary. The administrative costs of the mechanism and the final structure of certification and verification under CDM are still under discussion.
What are the Clean Development Mechanism rules and conditions?
Clean Development Mechanism projects need to seek approval by the Clean
Development Mechanism's Executive Board. A number of rules and conditions will apply, some to all project types and others specifically to afforestation and reforestation projects. While several of the detailed procedures to be applied to
Clean Development Mechanism forestry projects are still to be agreed, the overall framework is already established for approving projects and accounting for the carbon credits generated: Only areas that were not forest on 31st December 1989 are likely to meet the CDM definitions of afforestation or reforestation.
Projects must result in real, measurable and long-term emission reductions, as certified by a third party agency ('operational entities' in the language of the convention). The carbon stocks generated by the project need to be secure over the long term (a point referred to as 'permanence'), and any future emissions that might arise from these stocks need to be accounted for.
Emission reductions or sequestration must be additional to any that would occur without the project. They must result in a net storage of carbon and therefore a net removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This is called 'additionality' and is assessed by comparing the carbon stocks and flows of the project activities with those that would have occurred without the project (its 'baseline'). For example, the project may be proposing to afforest farmland with native tree species, increasing its stocks of carbon. By comparing the carbon stored in the 'project' plantations (high carbon) with the carbon that would have been stored in the 'baseline' abandoned farmland (low carbon) it is possible to calculate the net carbon benefit. There are still a number of technical discussions regarding the interpretation of the 'additionality' requirement for specific contexts.
Clean Development Mechanism projects must be in line with sustainable development objectives, as defined by the government that is hosting them.
Projects must contribute to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
Only projects beginning in the year 2000 forward are eligible.
Two percent of the carbon credits awarded to a Clean Development Mechanism
project will be allocated to a fund to help cover the costs of adaptation in countries severely affected by climate change (the 'adaptation levy'). This adaptation fund may provide support for land use activities that are not presently eligible under the
Clean Development Mechanism, for example conservation of existing forest resources.
Some of the proceeds from carbon credit sales from all Clean Development
Mechanism projects will be used to cover administrative expenses of the
Clean Development Mechanism (a proportion still to be decided).
Projects need to select a crediting period for activities, either a maximum of seven years that can be renewed at most two times, or a maximum of ten years with no renewal option.
The funding for Clean Development Mechanism projects must not come from a diversion of official development assistance (ODA) funds.
Each Clean Development Mechanism project's management plan must address and account for potential leakage. Leakage is the unplanned, indirect emission of
carbon dioxide, resulting from the project activities. For example, if the project involves the establishment of plantations on agricultural land, then leakage could occur if people who were farming on this land migrated to clear forest elsewhere.
What other Clean Development Mechanism rules remain to be decided?
Many Clean Development Mechanism rules and conditions for land-use projects still remain to be agreed. These include approaches for:
calculating the net carbon benefit of Clean Development Mechanism projects;
dealing with flexible and non-permanent land-use systems;
addressing the social and environmental impacts of projects.
Although decisions will be made at the international level, their impact on the ground and for projects will be significant. Two advisory groups to the Climate Convention, called the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), will be preparing advice and guidance for a series of meetings between now and the 9th CoP (due in 2003). Developing country agencies are still able to contribute to this process, via their National Focus Points or by sending delegations to attend the IPCC and SBSTA meetings. In the meantime, projects can already be developed using existing methodologies, subject to adjustments once final rules are defined. There is also a range of activities that developing countries can do to prepare and facilitate the development of
Clean Development Mechanism projects.
is "Best Available Control Technology"?
"Best Available Control Technology" or
"BACT" refers to an air emissions limitation based on using the most
current, state-of-the-art methods, systems, techniques, and production processes available to achieve the greatest feasible
air emissions reductions. These processes also include fuel cleaning or treatment or innovative fuel combustion techniques for control of
emissions' pollutant. These are the most stringent requirements for new or modified sources and are determined on a case-by-case basis as part of New Source
Review, by the permitting authority, taking into account energy, environmental, economic and other costs of control..
BACT is also specific to a facility and whether it is in an attainment or
Available Control Technology (BACT) Presumption
EPA proposes to adopt a presumption that, in the case of PSD permits
issued by EPA under 40 CFR 52.21, BACT for emissions of nitrogen oxides
from coal-fired electric utility steam generating units is the technology
required under section 407 of the Clean Air Act. In general, this will
call for the use of combustion modification and/or low-NOx burners or
similar, cost- effective technologies by those utilities required to
obtain PSD permits for NOx emissions.
proposed presumption is consistent with BACT requirements because it does
not purport to relieve the permitting authority of the obligation to weigh
the statutory factors in reaching BACT determinations. Rather, it reflects
an exercise of policy judgment by the permitting authority that in most
cases a BACT analysis of currently demonstrated technologies for
retrofitting existing utility boilers would lead to the selection of low
NOx burners and/or combustion modifications identified in section
What are Nitrogen Oxides?
or NOx, is the generic term for a group of highly reactive gases, all
of which contain nitrogen and oxygen in varying amounts. Many of the
nitrogen oxides are colorless and odorless. However, one common pollutant,
nitrogen dioxide (NO2) along with particles in the air can
often be seen as a reddish-brown layer over many urban areas.
Nitrogen oxides form when fuel is burned at high temperatures, as in a
combustion process. The primary sources of NOx are motor vehicles,
electric utilities, and other industrial, commercial, and residential
sources that burn fuels.
are Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
one of the main ingredients involved in the formation of
ground-level ozone, which can trigger serious respiratory
reacts to form nitrate particles, acid aerosols, as well as
NO2, which also cause respiratory problems.
contributes to formation of acid rain.
contributes to nutrient overload that deteriorates water
contributes to atmospheric particles, that cause visibility
impairment most noticeable in national parks.
reacts to form toxic chemicals.
contributes to global warming.
NOx and the pollutants formed from NOx
can be transported over long distances, following the
pattern of prevailing winds in the U.S. This means that problems
associated with NOx are not confined to areas where NOx are
emitted. Therefore, controlling NOx is often most effective if
done from a regional perspective, rather than focusing on sources
in one local area.
NOx emissions are increasing.
Since 1970, EPA has tracked emissions of the six principal air
pollutants - carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, particulate
matter, sulfur dioxide, and volatile organic compounds. Emissions
of all of these pollutants have decreased significantly except for
NOx which has increased approximately 10 percent over this period
How can Nitrogen Oxides be Removed from the
Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) is a proven and effective method to reduce nitrogen
oxides which is an air pollutant associated with the power generation
process. Nitrogen oxides are a contributor to ground level ozone.
How does Selective Catalytic Reduction work?
SCR Systems work similar to a catalytic converter used to reduce automobile emissions. Prior to exhaust gases going up the smokestack, they will pass through the SCR
System where anhydrous ammonia reacts with nitrogen oxide and converts it to nitrogen and water.
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* Some of the above information from the Department
of Energy website with permission.