Strategy to use emissions in creating energy [Archives:2007/1088/Local News]

September 24 2007

Ismail Al-Ghabri
SANA'A, Sept. 22 ) In an attempt to encourage environment protection in Yemen, the Ministry of environment launched a website for clean development mechanism, by which it encourages investors to create energy from collecting industry emitted gases.

Yemen is encouraging investment in alternative energy sources, especially in line with the Kyoto Protocol the government signed in Sept. 2004. As a practical step, Yemen's Clean Development Mechanism Website, which is supported by UNDP, was launched last week in a press conference.

The mechanism aims to direct private sector investment into emission-reduction projects in developing countries while also promoting sustainable development. In return the industrialized countries investing in projects will receive credits against their Kyoto target.

Abdul-Rahman F. Al-Eryani, Minister of Water and Environment, explained that there are promising projects such as using methane generated by the landfills existing in Aden and Sana'a to create energy. These landfills emit methane, which is one of the main gases that cause global warming. “If Yemen could attract investors to collect this gas and generate electricity power, it would be a good resource for investors as well as the country as a whole,” he said.

He also pointed out that by launching Yemen's clean development mechanism website, the ministry received calls from outsider investors. They want to know the conditions and opportunities of investment in this area.

“This website is hosting a key outreach mechanism for countries to market their national CDM programme as well as improving their country's competitiveness on the global market,” Flavia Panseiri, UNDP Resident Representative to Yemen commented on the website.

In order to supervise the operation of the website the ministry established a national committee concerned with organizing investment opportunities inline with the clean development mechanism. This committee was established by a ministerial decree and is headed by the Minister of Water and Environment, Ministry of Local Administration, Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Ministry of Health and Population, Ministry of Oil and Minerals, Ministry of Electricity and Power, Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment.

“Ideally, it will encourage additional capital flows into developing countries, accelerate technology transfer, create new job opportunities and enable developing countries to leapfrog to cleaner technologies,” Al-Eryani remarked.

He also confirmed that any such investment would result in mitigating the emission of the well-known six gases causing global warming. For instance, if an electricity station is erected using wind or solar energy, the power generated will be counted as much as it takes when it uses petrol or diesel to be produced. This quantity that was supposed to emit gases is to be sold in the global markets for carbon as revenue for Yemen.

Ms. Pansieri noted that the cooperation on CDM capacity has by far exceeded the originally planned outputs. She said: “Yemen has received enormous international recognition for these crucial steps taken. The country has taken the lead in the region to promote its CDM capacity to the global carbon market.”

She also commended the efforts of developing countries regarding global warming saying: “this growing concern of the developing countries has a great effect. For this matter, the existing clean development mechanism experienced by most of the countries including Yemen makes me delighted”.

Pansieri also said that this new mechanism would help the developing countries to introduce new technologies to reduce pollution as well as to find a clean environment, mitigating the emission of gases and global warming.

Cleaning Development Mechanism Project

Yemen is looking to keep pace with global goals to cut down on carbon dioxide by joining the Capacity Development for Cleaning Development Mechanism Project.

The cabinet has approved of creating committee to promote CDM in February this year.

“On the global level job creation in the environmental sector, especially in the field of clean technologies, is large and expanding and global expenditures on the environment are in the range of US$ 525 billion per year,” Al-Eryani said.

Yemen needs 4 more million jobs over the next years to cope with the excessive growth of labor force in the country.

The project, funded by the Netherlands Government and implemented by Untied Nation Environment Program, will aim to enable Yemen to fully engage as a partner in the global carbon market.

The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement under which industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% compared to the year 1990 (but note that, compared to the emissions levels that would be expected by 2010 without the Protocol, this limitation represents a 29% cut). The goal is to lower overall emissions of six greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs – calculated as an average over the five-year period of 2008-12. National limitations range from 8% reductions for the European Union and some others to 7% for the US, 6% for Japan, 0% for Russia, and permitted increases of 8% for Australia and 10% for Iceland

According to Ian Johnson is Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank, up to now, with only 15% of the world's population, rich countries have been responsible for more than 75% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and thus most of the environmental damage. However, it is the developing countries – and thus the world's poor – who are most vulnerable. It is unrealistic to ask poor countries, where more than 1.6 billion people do not have access to clean energy and technologies, to bear the costs associated with the much needed technological change.

The protocol resulted in establishing a clean development mechanism aiming at reducing the emission of the six gases causing global warming. This mechanism includes encouragement of mitigating the emission of these gases.