CDM Executive Board approves new biofuel methodology
A new and long-awaited Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodology has been approved covering the use of biodiesel obtained from plant oil from dedicated plantations. Previously, the methodology was restricted to biodiesel produced solely from animal fats and/or waste.
The CDM is one of the market-based mechanisms set up by the Kyoto Protocol to help countries meet their emission obligations by investing in emission-reduction projects in developing nations.
While the use of biodiesel from waste oil and waste fats had been approved for the generation of certified emission reduction (CER) certificates, the new methodology overcomes important obstacles that CDM developers have been facing with biodiesel generation from dedicated plantations producing oilseeds. The newly approved CDM methodology now allows them to foster sustainable and environmentally sound plantations via the generation of CERs.
First Climate, the carbon asset management company that has been involved in the development of the new methodology since 2007, said in a statement: “The production of biofuels, including biodiesel, from crops has been controversially discussed for several years due to its potential competition with other land uses such as food crop production or due to land-use pressure on existing natural habitats, such as tropical forests.
“Stringent rules on land eligibility for oilseed plantations however can help to avoid these conflicts. Restricted rules for land eligibility, such as those applied in afforestation and reforestation projects, have now been established. The methodology only allows for generation of carbon credits through dedicated plantations that are established on degraded lands or lands degrading at the start of the project activity. Land-use shifts due to the project activity are not allowed.”
Among the limitations of the methodology are the facts that CERs can only be issued to the producer of the biodiesel (and not to the consumer) and only when a contract exists between the two parties.
The revised methodology is referred to as “Approved Consolidated Methodology ACM017: Production of Biodiesel for Use as a Fuel” and can be accessed here.