Friday, September 23, 2005

Nepal player in world carbon trade, courtesy Kyoto Protocol

By Razen Manandhar
Kathmandu, September 22
Thanks to the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, Nepal has entered the world "market" of carbon trading, where it can reap the benefits of promoting eco-friendly fuels and contribute to reducing the greenhouse gas effects in the world. Nepal, which remained the only country in the South Asia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, finally submitted the necessary documents for the ratification last week. The Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement setting targets for industrialised countries to cut down on their greenhouse gas emissions comes into force from February 16, has been so far ratified by over 140 countries. Nepal deposited with the UN the Instrument of Accession at a function organised during the Treaty Event at the UN headquarters last Friday. The process of recognition generally takes three months to complete.

"We have recently become suitable sellers of carbon in the world market," said Joint-Secretary at Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, Lok Darshan Regmi, today.

He said, After ratifying the Protocol, Nepal will get many doors opened to it for dealing with the world against the contribution we have made so far in the area of controlling emission of carbon dioxide and other gases." But to be a eligible candidate selling carbon credit, that is selling the due of reducing greenhouse gases, Nepal will first have to establish a Designated National Authority (DNA) that deals with the developed countries for selling the carbon credit.

Bikas Pande, coordinator of the Climate Change Network-Nepal (CCNN), said the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol itself is not everything but has merely opened the door to wider possibilities. "Our job starts now. We can now go for searching for buyers of carbon we have preserved by introduction of eco-friendly sources of energy, which is called Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Projects" he said.

He added that the possible CDM projects in Nepal’s context could be bio-gas and micro-hydro projects. This apart, Winrock Nepal has identified five other possible areas that Nepal can put forward — vertical shaft brick kilns, improved cooking stove, Safa tempos, solar tuki, and cooking gas produced from solid waste landfill sites. Sandeep Chamling Rai, Climate Change Officer at WWF Nepal, said the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol would make Nepal’s CDM projects implementation easier. "We can work much easier and wider in the future. But for this, the DNA has to be set up as soon as possible," he said.

The Himalayan Times, 23 September 2005, National