Netherlands Approves 18 Climate Friendly Projects

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, March 13, 2003 (ENS) - The Dutch Environment Ministry today announced approval of 18 projects to cut greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries under the UN Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The Netherlands buys those reductions and uses them to meet part of its own reduction commitments.

All 18 projects focus on sustainable energy and clean technologies and will take place in Bolivia, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, India, Indonesia, Jamaica and Panama, said State Secretary for Environment Pieter Van Geel.

The projects support renewable energy, including hydroelectric, geothermal and wind power initatives. A Ugandan hydroelectric power project that had been contested by environmental groups has not been included.

Van Geel

Dutch State Secretary for Environment Pieter Van Geel (Photo courtesy University van Tilburg)
The development gives the Netherlands a world lead in implementing the mechanism, under which industrialized countries can claim emission credits towards their Kyoto Protocol commitments if they fund projects in developing countries. Formal approval from the CDM Executive Board of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change is still required, a process that could take up to nine months.

Although the protocol awaits Russia's ratification before it can enter into force, member states of the European Union have ratified the international climate agreement, and most are taking action to meet their commitments to reduce their emissions of gases responsible for global warming.

The Netherlands has taken on a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by six percent compared with 1990 levels during the protocol's first five year commitment period 2008 through 2012. This corresponds to a cut of 200 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the most abundant greenhouse gas.

The Dutch government has said that it will seek to achieve half of its committed greenhouse gas emission reductions through the protocol's flexible mechanisms. Nearly two-thirds of these emissions - 62 million out of 100 million metric tons - is to be delivered through the Clean Development Mechanism.

The 18 projects announced today should cut emissions by 16 metric tons.

The government aims to achieve the planned balance of 46 million metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions in developing countries through memorandums of understanding with various governments and through contracts with financial institutions.

{ENDS Environment Daily contributed to this report. Environmental Data Services Ltd, London}