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What is Carbon Credit?

Carbon credits are a key component of national and international emissions trading schemes that have been implemented to mitigate global warming. They provide a way to reduce greenhouse effect emissions on an industrial scale by capping total annual emissions and letting the market assign a monetary value to any shortfall through trading. Credits can be exchanged between businesses or bought and sold in international markets at the prevailing market price. Credits can be used to finance carbon reduction schemes between trading partners and around the world.

There are also many companies that sell carbon credits to commercial and individual customers who are interested in lowering their carbon footprint on a voluntary basis. These carbon offsetters purchase the credits from an investment fund or a carbon development company that has aggregated the credits from individual projects. The quality of the credits is based in part on the validation process and sophistication of the fund or development company that acted as the sponsor to the carbon project. This is reflected in their price; voluntary units typically have less value than the units sold through the rigorously-validated Clean Development Mechanism.

Background

Burning of fossil fuels is a major source of industrial greenhouse gas emissions, especially for power, cement, steel, textile, and fertilizer industries. The major greenhouse gases emitted by these industries are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), etc, which all increase the atmosphere's ability to trap infrared energy and thus affect the climate.

The concept of carbon credits came into existence as a result of increasing awareness of the need for controlling emissions. The IPCC has observed that:

Policies that provide a real or implicit price of carbon could create incentives for producers and consumers to significantly invest in low-GHG products, technologies and processes. Such policies could include economic instruments, government funding and regulation,

while noting that a tradable permit system is one of the policy instruments that has been shown to be environmentally effective in the industrial sector, as long as there are reasonable levels of predictability over the initial allocation mechanism and long-term price.

The mechanism was formalized in the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement between more than 170 countries, and the market mechanisms were agreed through the subsequent Marrakesh Accords[3]. The mechanism adopted was similar to the successful US Acid Rain Program to reduce some industrial pollutants.

Source from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_credit

 

Other Realted Links

www.cdm.eib.org.my
www.carbonfinance.org
http://unfccc.int/2860.php