Nepal | July 10, 2020

Going green? Does offsetting carbon emissions count?

REUTERS
Share Now:

LONDON: Among the most hotly contested topics at international climate change talks in Madrid on December 2-13 will be the role of market-based mechanisms for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon offsets.

WHAT IS OFFSETTING AND WHY IS IT A TRICKY TOPIC?

Carbon offsetting allows a country to help reach its own emissions reduction targets by funding emission reductions in another country. Companies are also increasingly using carbon credits to offset their emissions.

The first major offsetting scheme, the UN’s clean development mechanism (CDM), was set up under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, in which 190 countries agreed to country-by-country emission reduction targets.

The scheme was designed to help fund emission reduction projects in developing countries, while also providing offset credits to the developed world to help meet its Kyoto targets.

Negotiators in Madrid are set to discuss what kind of offsets, if any, should be used to meet the targets set out in the 2015 Paris agreement and how they should be monitored, following some cases where emissions cuts did not materialise.

The issue of which country claims the emission reduction will also need to be thrashed out, to avoid double counting.

WHAT KIND OF PROJECTS QUALIFY?

Carbon offset schemes cover all greenhouse gases but are measured in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent and can be awarded carbon credits.

More than 8,100 projects in 111 countries have registered with the CDM scheme, which has handed out over 2 billion carbon credits, called Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), representing 2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide reduction.

Projects registered under the scheme range from capturing and using methane gasses in pig manure to create electricity to replacing traditional wood and coal-burning cookstoves with cleaner alternatives such as ethanol. Offsets can be bought by individuals, companies or countries.

WHAT ABOUT CARBON SINKS?

Reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation, or REDD+, allows developing nations to earn carbon credits, which they can sell, when they reduce deforestation and degradation or conserve, rehabilitate and replant forests.

To qualify, carbon credits from REDD+ projects must be approved by the UNs Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

DO THEY WORK?

Proponents say offsetting can channel much-needed climate finance to developing countries.

Critics say offsetting emissions reduces incentives for the drastic emissions cuts needed to slow global warming and does not always bring the intended benefits; for instance, new trees may not grow as quickly as promised.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Silva shines as Man City thrash Newcastle 5-0

MANCHESTER: David Silva scored one goal and made two more as Manchester City put on a passing masterclass to overwhelm Newcastle United with a 5-0 Premier League victory on Wednesday. Having announced that he will leave the club at the end of this season after a 10-year spell, the 34- Read More...

Salah double keeps Liverpool on track for points record

BRIGHTON: Mohamed Salah scored twice as champions Liverpool moved on to 92 points with a 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Wednesday. The victory kept Liverpool on target to secure a record Premier League points tally, with Juergen Klopp's side needing nine from Read More...

Adequate social security key to minimise impact of COVID-19, says PM Oli

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli said protection of the most vulnerable, including migrant workers and those in informal sectors, and provision of adequate social security and health care was the key to minimise the impact of COVID-19. Addressing virtual ‘Global Summit on COVID Read More...

Suarez scores as Barca condemn Espanyol to relegation

Barca beat Espanyol 1-0 in city derby Suarez won the match with his 195th goal for the club Espanyol were relegated after 26 years in La Liga  BARCELONA: Barcelona kept up their pursuit of leaders Real Madrid in the La Liga title race by beating city rivals Espanyol 1-0 at home Read More...

Coronavirus pandemic affects Nepal’s sovereign credit rating process

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 The country’s sovereign rating assessment is likely to be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Though the government had awarded Fitch Ratings, a United States-based international credit rating agency, to study and confirm Nepal’s sovereign credit rating in December l Read More...

Human rights awareness, Human rights education

‘Respect rights of vulnerable people’

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 International partners, civil society and humanitarian organisations have been working together to support the Government of Nepal’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, read a joint press statement issued by United Nations, various embassies and international agencies in Nepal to Read More...

SP-N notifies EC of Giri’s expulsion

KATHMANDU, JULY 8 Samajwadi Party-Nepal today wrote a letter to the Parliament Secretariat stating that it had expelled lawmaker Sarita Giri from the House of Representatives. Assistant Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Dasharath Dahamala said his office would inform Speaker Agni Pra Read More...

Man held for swindling job aspirants of hefty amount

Swindler allegedly offered ‘fake offer letters’ to victims  KATHMANDU, JULY 8 Police have arrested Bijay Pandey, 34, on charge of swindling lakhs of rupees from at least seven persons on the pretext of securing them employment at World Health Organisation’s Nepal office. Pandey, who ha Read More...