Something in the air: Govt snuffs out CDM Cell, deprives country of carbon credit facility

Cell was initiated under Kyoto Protocol to explore cost-effective options to mitigate climate change impacts.

Shahzad Anwar February 07, 2015
Wind energy costs more in Pakistan than other countries. In fact, it is nearly twice as expensive as it is in India.

ISLAMABAD: Owing to the poor performance and non-serious attitude of bureaucrats, the government has finally wrapped up the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Cell, depriving the country of the benefits of the international carbon credit facility.

The CDM Cell was established in 2005 at the Climate Change Division to provide technical and policy support and to advise the government in matters related to the implementation of the CDM strategy in Pakistan and approval of projects for carbon credits.

Carbon credits and carbon markets are a component of national and international attempts to cap greenhouse gas emissions and to allow market mechanisms to drive industrial and commercial processes towards lowering emissions.

Pakistan signed the Kyoto Protocol on January 11, 2005 and became eligible to benefit from the CDM, but since 2006, it has managed to get approval for only 29 projects, all with minor value for carbon credits.

The CDM was initiated under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in order to explore cost-effective options to mitigate the impact of climate change.

It is one of the instruments that help developing countries achieve sustainable development, while at the same time contribute to the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC.

Under the CDM, developed countries assist developing ones in implementing project activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in return for certified emission reductions, widely referred to as carbon credits.

“The CDM is the only instrument that is available for developing countries to assist them in achieving sustainable development and contributing to the ultimate objective of the convention,” a Climate Change Division official said on the condition of anonymity.

Under the CDM projects in Asia till 2012, China deposited 55.8 per cent, India 29.2 per cent, Indonesia 2.3 per cent, Vietnam 3.6 per cent, Thailand 2.3 per cent, Malaysia 2.3 per cent, South Korea 1.3 per cent, Philippines 1.1 per cent, Sri Lanka 0.4 per cent while Pakistan’s share was only 0.6 per cent.

Similarly, in terms of volume of CERs until 2012 in Asia, China’s carbon credit share was 72.7 per cent, India’s 15.6 per cent, Vietnam’s 1.0 per cent, Indonesia’s 1.6 per cent, Thailand’s 0.8 per cent, Malaysia’s 1.3 per cent, South Korea’s 5.8 per cent, Philippines’ 0.4 per cent, Sri Lanka’s 0.1 per cent, while Pakistan’s credit share was only 0.4 per cent.

The figures show that the CDM Cell did little to get its share of the millions of dollars available for carbon credits. Though CDM Cell officials regularly traveled abroad, no awareness programme, seminar or any other activity or capacity building programme was carried out by the cell in the last many years.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2015.


Omar Malik | 7 years ago | Reply Dear Mr. Anwar I read your article about the dissolution of the CDM Cell closure with sadness. I have personally worked with the CDM Cell for the past 9 years, and am a witness to numerous awareness seminars that they have conducted in various sectors. Pakistan's track record of around 40 registered CDM projects is a testament to that. There are probably maybe another 100 projects that must have applied for CDM Registration with the UNFCCC and were refused Carbon Credits due to compliance issues - a fact that the Project Proponent has to ensure. Whilst there is no doubt more can and should have been done, we need to give credit where it is due. I am quoting a list of registered projects for your reference below, and remain available for any clarification you may need. -- Best regards Omar M. Malik Carbon Services [email protected] +92300-8463743 Pakistan Registered Projects with CDM Executive Board. Catalytic Abatement of Nitrous Oxide at the Tail Gas End of the Nitric Acid Plant of the Pakarab Fertilizers Limited, Multan. 84 MW New Bong Escape Hydropower Project. Construction of additional cooling tower cells at AES Lal Pir (Pvt.) Ltd. Muzaffar Garh, Pakistan Version 01 Community Based Renewable Energy Development in Northern Areas of Pakistan. Pakarab Fertiliser Co-Generation Power Project. Composting of Organic Content of Municipal Solid Waste in Lahore. ICI Polyester Co-generation Project . Almoiz Bagasse Cogeneration Project. Waste Heat Recovery Based 15MW Power Generation Project at Bestway Cement Limited, Chakwal, Pakistan. Gul Ahmed Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Project. Biogas-based Cogeneration Project at Shakarganj Mills Ltd., Jhang, Pakistan. DHCL Gas Turbine Based Cogeneration Project. DGKCC Waste Heat Recovery and Utilization for 10.4 MW Power Generation at Dera Ghazi Khan Plant Version 01. Fatima N2O Abatement Project. Compost from Municipal Solid Waste in Peshawar, Pakistan. Waste heat recovery and utilization for power generation at DG Cement Khairpur Plant. Substitution of coal with alternate fuels at DG Khan Cement Company Limited, Khairpur Plant. Sapphire 49.5 MW Wind Farm Project. Partial substitution of coal with alternate fuels at DG Cement, Khofli Sattai Dera Ghazi Khan Plant. Reduction of Heavy Fuel Oil usage for Power Generation at Lucky Cement, Pezu, Pakistan. Waste Heat Recovery CDM Project at Attock Cement Pakistan Ltd. Grid connected combined cycle power plant project in Qadirpur utilizing permeate gas, previously flared. Biomass based cogeneration in Engro foods Supply Chain (Pvt.) Ltd. IRPC (Integrated Rice Processing Complex), Muridke, Pakistan. Patrind Hydropower Project. Yunus Energy Limited 50 MW Wind Farm Project. Waste Heat Recovery and Utilization for Power Generation at Maple Leaf Cement Factory Limited, Iskanderabad, Pakistan. Biomass Fuel Switch Project at Sapphire Finishing Mills Ltd. Pakistan. Foundation Wind Energy-II (Private) Limited 50 MW Wind Farm Project. Power Generation through Wind Energy at Gul Ahmed Wind Power Limited. Power Generation through Wind Energy at Metro Power Company Limited. Foundation Wind Energy-I Limited 50 MW Wind Farm Project. Pakistan Domestic Biogas Programme, CDM Programme of Activities. PoA Solar PV in Pakistan. The National CFL Project, Pakistan. Renewable Energy based PoA in Pakistan. Substitution of coal with alternate fuels at Lucky Cement Limited, Karachi Plant. Zorlu Enerji Wind Project. Waste Heat Recovery Power Plant at Fecto Cement Limited.
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