Over half a million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions are to be saved in Colombia
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will support a $10.5 million project to set up a system of Verified Emissions Reductions (VERs) in Colombia, with the aim of cutting over half a million tons of carbon emissions over four years through a voluntary trading system, among other measures.
The project will be partially financed with a $2.7 million grant from the Global Environment Fund, which provides grants to developing countries for projects tackling biodiversity, climate change and other related topics. The IDB has been a GEF executing agency since 2004.
Additional resources will be provided by the project’s local co-executing agencies, the Natura Foundation, the Colombian Mercantile Exchange and the Bogota Chamber of Commerce. Other NGOs, forest carbon project developers and companies will contribute additional funds.
The three-pronged project will create a Colombian-based voluntary market platform for trading nationally generated VERs, which will be accessible to domestic buyers and sellers as well as international investors. As a result, 371,200 VERs issued to forest carbon projects are expected to be traded on the new market platform.
The second project component focuses on validating and registering a stock of VERs generated by agriculture, forestry and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) projects in Colombia. At least five forest carbon projects in at least two different regions of the country are to receive support until they generate tradable VERs.
In total, 464,000 tons of CO2 equivalents – roughly the amount put out by 81,000 cars per year – will be verified from supported forest carbon projects. Additionally, the project will create new conservation areas and areas of increased carbon stocks totaling 58,800 hectares.
The third pillar of the project will concentrate on voluntary mitigation and offsetting by the corporate and institutional sectors. Financial incentives, along with hands-on training and support, will enable private companies to better calculate, monitor, manage and mitigate their carbon footprint. A total of 20 companies and institutions are projected to adopt new carbon strategies, resulting in a reduction of 100,000 tons of CO2 equivalent – roughly the amount put out by 17,500 cars per year.