CARBON OFFSETTING AND CARBON CREDITS DEFINED

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THE INITIAL PLANNING

The Kyoto protocol requires participating industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by an average of 5% bellow 1990 levels by 2012.

Not all reductions have to originate in the participating country: some GHG emissions can be “offset” through paying for sustainable development projects resulting in equivalent GHG reductions in less-developed countries.

Example: Germany can meet part of its Kyoto commitment through in-state wind farms and could also potentially offsets a small fraction by funding tree planting in Kenya.

Carbon credits represent verified reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from a given activity.

VOLUNTARY CARBON MARKETS

Voluntary carbon markets are emerging for businesses and individuals who would like to offset their GHG emissions.

Many of these project activities have clearly defined sustainable development benefits.

GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS:THE ROLE OF SUB SAHARAN AFRICAN BIOMASS

GHG emissions in African countries are relatively low compared to industrialized countries. However, significant development benefits can be realized through carbon funding for renewable and the efficient use of biomass fuels.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 90% of all household energy comes from biomass (wood and charcoal), with 8% coming from fossil fuels and 6% from electricity.

In rural areas, clearing land for agriculture and wood-fuel drives an annual deforestation rate of 2%. Urban demand for wood products, wood-fuel, and charcoal produced from wood-fuel increase the strain on forest resources.

It is projected that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Sub-Saharan Africa could be reduced by the equivalent of 100 million tonnes of CO2 per year through sustainable management of forest resources.

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