07 Jun 2010 11:23 CET Last updated: 08 Jun 2010 09:35 CET
Gazprom will buy 1.5 million CERs per year from two post-2012 CDM projects approved by China.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has confirmed on its website that it has approved two programmatic clean development mechanism (CDM) projects for the period after the Kyoto protocol expires.
This is the first time applications have been made for post-2012 approvals in China and Russian gas company Gazprom is believed to have paid at least €8 per certified emission reduction (CER), as this is the official minimum price accepted by the Chinese government.
The price and conditions are in line with government policy for pre-2012 credits, which sets a floor price for CERs to protect Chinese enterprises.
Investors have so far shied away from buying post-2012 credits in China due to uncertainty over what will happen to the CDM in the country after 2012.
The lack of an international climate treaty to replace or prolong the Kyoto protocol means there is doubt over whether the scheme will continue to exist.
Meanwhile, developed countries are calling on China to take on some form of carbon emission obligation in a future treaty, casting doubt over its eligibility to host CDM projects.
Rich nations are also trying to reform the CDM, seeking to limit it to the poorest countries.
In addition, the lack of firm targets post-2012 has made most market participants pessimistic in terms of CER demand over the next decade.
“With regard to the Chinese post-2012 market, this is something developers have been waiting for for quite some time and we are delighted to have been the first to receive an approval from the NDRC for post-2012,” said Dan Berry, deputy director global carbon at Gazprom Marketing and Trading.
“What will happen in terms of treatment of certain sectors in a future mechanism is still of course unclear, but we are positive about the continuation of the world’s largest CDM market, and a positive consideration of PoAs such as these that are providing households with a renewable energy source for cooking,” he said.
The credits will be sourced from programmes of activities (PoAs), meaning they will be implemented at a number of facilities instead of only at one location, which is normal for the CDM.
The two programmatic activities, the first-ever of their kind to be okayed by China, will install biogas digesters to supply gas to over 800,000 households in two rural areas in the Henan province, cutting emissions by almost 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually.
“This is very encouraging for both project owners and buyers,” said Kou Weiwei with Accord Global Environmental Technology, a sister company of the project developer OCCDM.
She said a number of companies in the market are interested in applying for post-2012 approvals, but have so far been uncertain whether the government would give any project the thumbs-up.
“There has been a lot of wait-and-see, but no they can go ahead,” she said.
All of the more than 2,500 projects that have been approved by China so far must also reapply if they want to keep the projects running beyond 31 December 2012.
Both projects will start during the current Kyoto commitment period and will run for 10 years.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org and Kathy Chen – email@example.com
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