On January 14th, at the National Palace in Santo Domingo, the National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism of the Dominican Republic (CNCCMDL) released its long-awaited DR ClimateCompatibleDevPlan-Sep-2011 (CCDP). The plan outlines policies the Dominican Republic can enact to achieve great economic growth as well as substantive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030. The project was started after the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP 16) in Cancun, Mexico in 2010 and has moved forward with support from the International Climate Initiative (ICI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN) and the McKinsey Company.

The Dominican Republic's Climate-Compatible Development Plan

The development plan is an important document that allows the government to set the tone regarding the future of sustainability in the Dominican Republic. The CCDP details the emissions reductions that can be made in four areas of the economy by pursuing low-emissions strategies rather than a business as usual (BAU) scenario through 2030. Its long time horizon and its intent to achieve strong economic growth while simultaneously curbing emissions make it an ambitious plan that other island countries in the Caribbean can emulate. But it won’t be easy. The development plan states that success will require successful coordination of five key factors: commitments and leadership, stakeholder engagement and mobilization, effective institutions and systems, comprehensive strengthening of government capacity, and smart financing.

The CNCCMDL took pains to ensure that the development plan avoided partiality toward any one sector or political group. In order to be comprehensive and maintain the current momentum of the renewable energy sector, the council sought input from the country’s government, private sector, local and international NGOs and academia. According to Zugeilly Coss, a member of the CNCCMDL who worked closely on this project, “This plan addresses both practical and political elements with a serious perspective of sustainable development.

Read the rest of this entry

Caribbean, Clean Development Mechanism, Climate Change, Dominican Republic, emissions reductions, low-carbon, renewable energy

From the world’s second-most populous country comes one of the biggest carbon credit projects. India seeks to replace 400 million inefficient, incandescent light bulbs with energy saving compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs at a considerably reduced price to the consumer. In the bargain, India is expected to avoid the emission of 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

The Bachat Lamp Yojana (BLY) project, which translates to Savings Program through Lamps, promises to lower the price of CFLs to Rs 15 (about US $0.33) each, instead of the current market price of Rs 100 (US $ 2.10). The United Nations approved the project on April 29 as part of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a Kyoto Protocol tool that allows industrialized countries to meet their carbon emission reduction targets by paying for greenhouse gas emission reductions in developing countries.

Ajay Mathur, director general of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), the Indian agency responsible for the project, was quoted in the media as saying: “Almost half the households in India will immediately benefit from the scheme, and as other areas get electrified, those villages will get added on.”

The BLY project is based on the premise that every 10 lamps replaced equal one ton of avoided emissions, the equivalent of one carbon credit. “The current penetration of CFLs in the household sector remains low at about 5-10 per cent, largely due to the high price of the CFLs, which is 8-10 times the cost of incandescent bulbs. The BLY focuses on this first cost barrier to reduce the cost of CFLs to that of incandescent bulbs for consumers,” Mathur said. “At Rs 15 apiece for CFLs, the BLY is a win-win situation for all. Consumers will not only be able to save on their electricity bills but also help meet the energy efficiency targets of the country.”

The domestic appliances and lighting sector accounts for almost 22 percent of the total electricity demand in India, contributing almost fully to recent increases in electricity demand.  BEE estimates that more than 400 million light points in India use incandescent lamps, an extremely energy inefficient form of lighting with just 5 percent of the electricity input converted to light. The project seeks to replace all these with the efficient CFL lamps.

The BLY scheme provides a unique platform for a healthy public-private partnership between the government of India, private sector CFL suppliers, and state-level electricity distribution companies. Under the scheme, 60-Watt and 100-Watt incandescent lamps will be replaced with 11- to 15-Watt and 20- or 25-Watt CFLs, respectively. BEE will monitor each project area as required under an approved methodology of CDM.

In 2008, 734 million incandescent lamps were sold in India, whereas CFL sales were only 199 million. The combined penetration share of incandescent lamps for lighting in the commercial and residential sectors was nearly 80 percent.

Companies like the Washington DC-based C-Quest Capital, a carbon finance business, are already investing in  the project, according to media reports. Initial investments are located in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh and at least eight more projects are underway.

Andhra Pradesh, carbon credits, CDM, CFLs, Clean Development Mechanism, India