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M’sia third in Asia in emission reduction projects

BANGKOK, 12 Dec 2008: Malaysia ranks third in Asia with 145 projects worth US$274 million lined up this year, according to the year-end snapshot of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol — the United Nations (UN) emission-reduction treaty.

The CDM projects running or in the pipeline in Malaysia represent 3.4% of the global share, and showed a steady rise from just two projects in 2004 to seven in 2005, 23 in 2006 and 93 in 2007.

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said today that more than 4,200 projects were up and running, or in various phases of the pipeline across the globe in 2008, with China, India, Brazil and Mexico continuing to grab the lion’s share with a total of 3,218 projects.

China topped the chart with 1,557, or 36.7% of the global share, followed by 1,135 for India. The countries with the least projects are Fiji, Laos and Papua New Guinea with just one each.

Wind and geothermal power projects alongside those promoting energy efficiency and even the preservation of onions are emerging across the globe, courtesy of the UN-brokered carbon markets, the UNDP said.

Leading are medium- and small-scale hydroelectric projects, followed by biomass energy, wind power and electricity from industrial waste heat. The CDM is also now triggering interest in a wider range of renewable energy projects , including solar and geothermal power and one 250 MW tidal project in Korea.

One novel project is emerging from Niger where an estimated 60% of the national onion crop can be lost, leading to methane emissions as the vegetables rot. The idea is to use solar dryers and other systems to preserve the onions so they do not rot in storage or on the way to the market.

“Some 3,000 tonnes of onions produced by small farmers can be lost annually.

Support under the CDM raises the prospect of not only cutting greenhouse gas emissions but more than doubling incomes of onion farmers by boosting exports by cutting post-harvest losses,” said Lars Appelquist of UNEP’s Risoe Centre in Denmark, which compiled the year-end snapshot.

Achim Steiner, UN under-secretary general and UNEP executive director, said that the CDM and the carbon markets as a whole were one of the great success stories of international cooperative action on climate change.

“By 2012 we estimate that over 8,000 CDM projects may be up and running or in the pipeline, generating financial flows from North to South of well over US$30 billion,” he added. 

The calculation is based on the CDM generating an estimated 1.6 billion “Certified Emission Reduction” carbon credits worth $20 each. — Bernama


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