THE GOVERNMENT has invested almost €40 million to date in carbon-reduction projects that will help Ireland meet its Kyoto commitments.
The first annual report (for 2007) of the Carbon Fund discloses that a total of €38.8 million has been committed to three funds, which each invest in projects that lead to global reductions in greenhouse emissions.
The Carbon Fund is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).
The Government has committed total funding of €270 million to the fund to allow Ireland meet its Kyoto target of an average of 62.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year between 2008 and 2012.
Ireland’s emissions in recent years have risen to over 71 million tonnes, some 8.4 million tonnes about the target.
In order to meet the targets, the Government has also committed to using flexible mechanisms. This commits the NTMA to buy 3.6 million tonnes of credits in each of the five years of the Kyoto treaty period.
The NTMA Carbon Fund report, published late last week, shows that the first tranche of investment was in the Multilateral Carbon Credit Fund. A joint venture of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the European Investment Bank (EIB), it funds projects located in 27 countries in central and eastern Europe as well as 11 former Soviet republics in central Asia.
The second fund is a Carbon Fund for Europe, set up by the World Bank and the EIB. It will help fund large projects in developing countries. A total of €10 million has been committed to this fund. A further €8.8 million has been earmarked for the Bio Carbon Fund which supports projects promoting conservation, poverty-alleviation and biodiversity in China, India, Moldova, Panama and Kyrgyztan.
However, the price of carbon is currently about €26 a tonne. If it continues to rise, the €270 million allotted to the fund may be insufficient to pay for the 16 million tonnes the Government is currently committed to purchase.
The Irish Times