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Carbon credit: Rs 15,000-crore investments likely

K.V. Kurmanath

Hyderabad , Jan 9

THE unfolding opportunity of carbon credits has caught the imagination of Indian entrepreneurs.

The number of Indian projects, in the fields of biomass, cogeneration, hydropower and wind power, eligible for getting carbon credits, now stands at 225 with a potential of 225 million CERs (certified emission reductions. Each CER stands for one tonne of carbon dioxide reduction.)

"This is just the tip of the iceberg. If there is no uncertainty as to what will happen beyond 2012, the number could easily cross the 2,000-mark," according to Mr S.K. Joshi, Joint Secretary in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The Kyoto Protocol required the developed nations to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions of at least five per cent from 1990 levels during the commitment period of 2008-2012.

On the sidelines of the 93rd Indian Science Congress here on Saturday, he told Business Line that it was estimated that the new opportunity could trigger flow of investments to the tune of Rs 15,000 crore.

Projects approved by designated CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) in the developing countries could earn carbon credits and sell them to the countries that required reducing the greenhouse gas emissions under the international agreement.

"We are not at all under any pressure. Going for cleaner production was good for our own interest. In that process our companies can benefit by selling the credits," he said.

Any project that was set up after January 1, 2000, was eligible for CDM recognition, he said.

In a bid to throw light on the subject, public sector energy utilities such as NTPC, ONGC and PowerGrid, the Ministry of Environment and Forests was holding a national level seminar at Hotel Ashoka in New Delhi on January 16.

The Ministry had already started a project to sensitise and encourage States to take a lead in this regard. Initially five States — Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra were given seed funding to set up their own CDM facilities and spread the word.

Now it had been extended to 15 States. "We would like to cover the whole country by the year-end," he said.

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