MENA to play important role in oil and gas CDM challenges

Oct 22, 2008 02:00 AM

by Mirzi Moralde

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) represent 6 % of the global share of oil and natural gas Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, based on data revealed at the World Carbon Emission Reduction Summit in Abu Dhabi. There are eight oil and gas projects in MENA with only one registered avoided gas flaring project in Qatar.
The small number of projects apparently reflects a lack of understanding of the Kyoto Protocol and its flexible mechanisms, observed an official from the EcoSecurities Group that sources, develops and trades carbon credits in the global carbon market.

Factors attributed to the minimal percentage of CDM projects are unclear regional regulations in oil and gas practices and the lack of necessary regulatory bodies, such as designated national authorities, that slow down the process for CDM project approval. Up until now, carbon capture and storage is not yet CDM eligible.
Added to these challenges are the lack of approved methodologies under theCDM, the need for large capital outlay and long commissioning time with post-Kyoto regulatory uncertainty.

MENA has more than half of the available avoided flaring project opportunity under the CDM at $ 20/ton of carbon dioxide that is equal to $ 1.6 bn per year. This figure puts MENA at the crux of playing a more active role post 2012 and Kyoto.
Governments in MENA are being encouraged to take a more active stance in the negotiation and in fine tuning greenhouse mitigation policies that will make CDMs achieve their purpose.

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