El Salvador may profit from Kyoto protocols
The Inter Press Service has a new article regarding El Salvador's efforts to attract investment in renewable energy and other projects in order to sell carbon reduction credits under the Kyoto protocols:
SAN SALVADOR, Oct 4 (IPS) - El Salvador is studying the Kyoto Protocol carefully, not because it has to cut its emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, but because this international agreement opens a way to earn profits and encourages investment for development.
The treaty on climate change provides a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which allows rich countries -- the only ones obliged by the treaty to reduce their emissions -- to implement projects in developing countries, such as afforestation or reforestation, or to finance activities that reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), which are mostly released by burning oil, coal and gas.
There is also provision for Emissions Trading, which allows the states party to the Protocol to sell coupons ("certified emissions reductions") for their extra savings in greenhouse gas emissions below their assigned quota, to other countries whose gas emissions exceed their assigned targets and have not been able to reduce them to the required levels.
The Salvadoran Sugar Company (CASSA) began to produce electricity in 2002 from sugar cane waste, and this is fed into the national energy grid. Electricity is generated in this way during the annual five-month sugar cane harvest.
Claudia Figueroa, the company's environmental manager, said that old sugar mills were replaced in 2006 by less wasteful electric mills. Thanks to this, they have registered with the CDM to offer for sale 89,000 carbon units. Each unit represents the equivalent of one metric ton of CO2 that has not been emitted, and sells for between six and 10 dollars. Japan has already expressed an interest in buying them.
In addition, the company imports hydrated ethanol from Brazil and processes it for export to the United States as a clean transport fuel. According to Figueroa, ethanol "is a business opportunity with great prospects." (more).