TEI: Carbon footprint key to agenda

TEI: Carbon footprint key to agenda

Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) seeks to push carbon footprint reduction onto the national agenda despite lack of interest from carbon credit companies due to the low price.

Government support for company participation in the scheme is crucial for its success, said TEI adviser Sirithan Boriboon.

Carbon credit prices have sunk below one euro (41 baht) per tonne from 23 euros in 2008 when the scheme first started, denting demand in Thailand. As in other countries, Thai companies have lost confidence in the carbon trading programme because they do not believe credits are commercially viable.

Carbon credits are one of the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) where companies or individuals can buy Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) from initiatives in developing countries to offset their carbon production in order to meet promised reductions under the Kyoto protocol.

Prasert Bunsumpun, chairman of Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development, suggested communities utilise good governance to manage their income from the Local Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS). The LCRS is a small community fund initiated by the Energy Ministry to raise money from power producers that improves the quality of life for communities near manufacturing areas.

Some 221 projects have received approval from Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (TGO). TGO aims to lower carbon emissions in Thailand by 12.71 million tonnes per year, and 148 of the 221 projects have been registered with the CDM Executive Board and are expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 6.88 million tonnes per year. Some 35 projects have CERs guaranteeing they can cut greenhouse gases by 3.52 million tonnes a year.

Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding (RATCH) announced yesterday it would buy 6.66 tonnes of carbon credits a year for five years from 25 households in the solar home system at Ban Hau-Ha in Mae Hong Son province. Pandora Production also signed a five-year contract to purchase 7.37 tonnes a year of carbon credits from the Solar Lanterns project at Ban Hau-Ha and Ban Pa-Yoy.

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