Carbon2Green's mission is to establish activities in developing countries certified as CDM projects that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and therefore result in the issuance of carbon credits by the competent authorities.
Ideally, all projects should be self-financing and generate profits for the company by way of carbon credits that can be sold on the carbon market.
Although several categories of projects may qualify as certified activities, Carbon2Green intends to focus initially on projects that involve the sequestration of CO2, forest conservation, the production of biofuels in the forestry and agricultural circles, the recovery and promotion of methane gas, and finally, hydro-electric projects.
These projects will be carried out mainly in Africa since UN authorities have clearly stated their willingness to see such projects implemented on that continent. That being said, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Mr. Yvo de Boer, wrote in a UN-issued press release dated December 6, 2007: (translation) "There are 850 CDM projects in 49 developing countries, but only 23 of these projects are in Africa. It is time that the benefits of this important mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol reach Africa."
The fact that these words have been echoed by several speakers at the "CarbonExpo" held in Cologne in May 2008 has convinced us that many government agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will be interested in working with us to realize our projects, which will only stimulate economic activities in Africa, thus improving the environment and living conditions of the local populations. The difficulties that Africa faces in attracting investors interested in CDMs arise from its limited financial and economic resources. Adding to the challenges are the shortage of qualified personnel in various technical fields, finding the management teams that meet the CDM standards necessary to develop these projects, and the weakness of its economic institutions.
To promote the development of CDM projects in Africa, a coalition of UN agencies and other development organizations, including the United Nations Program for Environment, the United Nations Development Program, the Secretariat Convention United Nations Framework on Climate Change, the World Bank and the African Development Bank have prepared a memorandum called the Nairobi Framework.
The objectives of the Nairobi Framework are:
* to develop local and national capacity for the design and realization of CDM projects;
* to promote awareness among African governments and other leaders in the private sector of the opportunities that CDM provide;
* to encourage better cooperation between African governments when it comes to corporate stock so as to attract further "green investments";
* to strengthen the coordination between various governmental and non-governmental organizations when it comes to rationalizing projects and local accreditation process in order to shorten the time required for such projects.
Carbon2Green is participating in the next Carbon African Forum to be held in Senegal in the fall of 2008. This forum will highlight the potential that Africa represents to those who invest in "green development" projects.
But Carbon2Green is not limited to these projects and to the African continent. In the near future, we will propose CDM projects to several governments on other various continents in the following sectors;
* improving energy efficiency of end-uses;
* improving energy efficiency in the supply of energy;
* creating renewable energy including the installation of small hydro-electric dams;
* finding substitutes for fossil fuels and generating energy using biomass;
* agriculture (reduction of CH4 and N2O emissions);
* industrial processes (reduction of CO2, HFCs, PFCs, SF6 emissions);
* carbon absorption initiatives;
* recovery of methane (CH4) from landfill sites.
FIRST PROJECT : RURAL ELECTRIFICATION IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Carbon2Green introduced a rural electrification project in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has obtained in this regard, a "letter of non objection" from the Congolese Government in february 2008 . Starting in 2009, Carbon2Green will develop plantations of Jatropha in order to supply electricity to certain rural populations that have already been identified. The plantation areas will cover up to 14,000 hectares. This plant, Jatropha Curcas, is a plant native to Central and South America, which is now widespread in all tropical arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Member of the Euphorbiaceae family, it is a perennial plant resistant to drought, that can live up to 50 years and grow in poor soils. This plant is also known as the pourghere, Gable of India or Medicinal. This plant is generally well known to populations of several African countries and has long been recognized as a multi-purpose plant. Jatropha hedges protect gardens from ravaging animals and reduce soil erosion. The seeds of Jatropha are traditionally harvested and used for medicinal purposes and the local production of soap.
Jatropha requires no tilling, sowing (as the lifetime of this shrub is almost fifty years), nor use of pesticides or any other pollutants because of its properties that include insecticides and fungicides.
However, Jatropha is distinguished mainly for the production of oil whose properties are comparable to that of diesel. Its seeds contain about 35% of non-edible oil that, with the addition of a simple gas filter, allows it to be used in the pre-combustion chamber of diesel engines. Jatropha oil is inexpensive. In optimal conditions, Jatropha oil gives even better results than diesel because of its high oxygen content. In terms of equity, the energy required to produce Jatropha oil with mechanical presses amounts to approximately 10% of the oil obtained.
In addition to the bio-fuel produced, residues from the extraction of oil seeds are a high quality organic fertilizer, that has a mineral composition comparable to that of chicken manure. In all, the culture of Jatropha stimulates several aspects of development, such as soil improvement and the fight against erosion, production of green renewable energy, poverty reduction and the promotion of women. More importantly, local production of an alternative to traditional diesel, at a lower price, will provide a continuous social and economic development, given the unavailability of regular fuel-based oil in remote rural areas during the rainy season.
It is important to emphasize that the culture of Jatropha satisfies all conditions relating to afforestation and reforestation set out in the Kyoto Protocol and the accounting principles provided in the Marrakesh Accord (UNFCCC, 2001) for the commitment period covered between January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2012.
This culture may thus qualify as a CDM project because it is an activity related to the absorption of carbon by carbon sinks. Indeed, a way of reducing the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is its natural "removal" by planting new forests: Plants extract carbon dioxide from the air and lock it in their tissues.
The sequestration of GHG resulting from our project will yield revenues by generating carbon credits eligible to be validated by the CDM Executive Board. (EC).
Other carbon credits will be obtained from creating alternative fuels to replace high carbon content fuels (such as coal and oil). Jatropha oil can replace these fuels with a fuel of lower carbon content. Indeed, the use of biodiesel (Jatropha oil) to replace diesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions, that can generate carbon credits corresponding to the reduction of emissions.
The carbon component of this project offers the following potential :
70,000 temporary Units of certified emission reductions (tCERs) per year for a period of 30 years for a totalof 2,100,000 tCERs. A tCER currently trade at more than 6 US $ in the European system;
60,000 permanent Units of certified emission reductions(CERs) per year for a period of 21 years for a total of 1,260,000 CERs. CERs currently trade at over 30 US $ in the European system.
SECOND PROJECT : PRODUCTION OF BIODIESEL IN DRC
The second Carbon2Green CDM project is planting 40,000 hectares of Jatropha curcas, once again in degraded soils and therefore not suitable for crop production. Also in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this project shall be established on land near existing power plants. Carbon2Green has also obtained a letter of non-objection for this project issued by the Autorité Nationale Désignée of the DRC.
The activities of this project, like the previous one, are divided into two phases. The afforestation phase and the production phase of biodiesel. The first phase will take place over three years while production of biofuel will begin at the first harvest of fruit, roughly two years after the first planting of Jatropha plants.
THIRD PROJECT: RURAL ELECTRIFICATION IN MALI
Carbon2Green entered in an agreement in July 2008 with a local partner in Mali to initiate a CDM project. Carbon2Green will develop plantations of Jatropha in a way similar to our first project in DRC. Our objective is to achieve 14,000 hectares. This project is allowing us to geographically diversify our activities.
FOURTH PROJECT : RECOVERY AND VALORIZATION OF METHANE
Carbon2Green has identified a project for the recovery and promotion of methane gas currently contained in Lake Kivu in the western part of the DRC. The project aims to reclaim and develop the gas in the deep waters of Lake Kivu.
These biogases consist mainly of methane (CH4). Lake Kivu is located at the border of Rwanda and the DRC. Its uniqueness is that the lake waters are highly stratified and stable, thus limiting vertical mixing and allowing the segregation of gaseous material in the deeper layers of the lake.
The waters of Lake Kivu between 250 m and 400 m deep show a high level of dissolved gases, mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The total volume of dissolved methane stored in the lake is estimated at 55 billion cubic meters. In order to remain at a level of saturation of 50%, pockets of gas consisting mainly of CO2 and 15% of CH4 are regularly released naturally. Approximately 120 million cubic meters of methane are released each year.
These volumes of methane and carbon dioxide are both an environmental risk and a health risk. Their emissions increase the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere on the one hand and, on the other hand, CO2 is heavier than air, it spreads to the surface of the soil, sometimes causing the death of humans and mammals living near the lake. All published studies conclude that the extraction of methane contributes to control toxic emissions and, accordingly, could reduce the rate of accidents related to the emissions. The proposed activity is the extraction of methane by pumping water from the 250 meters strata and deeper. The pressure difference between the subsoil and the surface will enable the release of the elements directly in gaseous form. By playing on the solubility of gases in the waters, the submerged extraction phase would enable a first separation. The remainder of the purification could be done by subsequent passes or through membranes. Once recovered, Carbon2Green will then proceed to the transformation of methane into energy by powering generators or cogeneration plants (electricity and steam). The methane shall thus be used in the development of projects aimed at humanitarian purposes. Economic additionality can be justified and the project can qualify under the CDM. Additionality is a criterion for approval of a CDM project. It means that a project should result in a reduction of emissions that would not take place without the project. To demonstrate additionality of a project, there is a qualitative and quantitative assessment. Our project has no problems in this regard. It is interesting to note that methane has a capacity of global warming 21 times greater than carbon dioxide. This gas is clearly harmful to the atmosphere.
This project has a huge potential, however more studies must be achieved and Carbon2Green is required to develop a CDM methodology in order to get the approval of the UNFCCC. Consequently, Carbon2Green is taking a long term view with respect to this project.
FIFTH PROJECT : FOREST PRESERVATION PROJECT
Efforts are currently being undertaken by the signatories of the Kyoto Protocol to amend the rules of the CDM. At the Bali summit on climate change organized by the United Nations in December 2007, participating governments agreed to explore ways to extend the CDM in areas previously excluded, such as forest preservation.
The concept aims to curb deforestation via economic incentives for developing countries. Deforestation accounted for approximately 20% of global carbon emissions in 2004 and direct emissions from land use and forestry grew by 40% between 1970 and 2004 according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). One of the recommendations of this expert group to reduce global warming is to reduce emissions from deforestation, particularly in the tropics, in developing countries like Brazil, in Sub-Saharan Africa and Indonesia, where demographic growth and economic development exerts considerable pressure on the maintenance of vegetation cover. At the Bali Conference (thirteenth Conference of Parties to the Climate Change Convention and the third Conference of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol) held in December 2007, the 187 countries present agreed on the official launch of negotiations for the relief of the climate challenge post 2012. At the conference, several strategic decisions were adopted including one aimed at reducing emissions from deforestation.
This decision establishes the need to act quickly through pilot projects, increase the capacities of developing countries, financing of actions by developed countries and negotiations to clarify the indicative conditions of actions to fight against deforestation. A new mechanism is thus born of these initiatives: the REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). The idea of issuing REDD on the carbon market will now proceed. An agreement between the signatory countries on the system that will oversee and finance REDD has yet to be reached. However, it is clear that new carbon credits, similar if not the same as the CERs from the CDM framework, will emerge in 2013.
Consequently, we feel it is strategic to initiate talks with the competent authorities of the Congo Basin to explore transactions scenarios in which Carbon2Green can integrate itself into their forest preservation efforts. Carbon2Green wants to initiate a framework enabling the protection of an area of 1 million hectares of tropical forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
SIXTH PROJECT: SMALL SCALE HYDROELECTRIC PROJECTS
Carbon2Green is reviewing propositions for the implementation of 14 small scale hydroelectric projects in three different African countries.