API Fall 2012 Carbon Offset Projects

Fall 2012 Brazilian Fuel Switch Project & Turkey Small Hydropower

Congratulations to our fall 2012 students who have once again helped to make meaningful reductions of carbon dioxide through APIs carbon offset program! In partnership with Carbon Clear, API’s program invested in two really great projects in order to offset the emissions that result from air travel to API study destinations.

The first of the two projects is located just outside Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in three separate ceramics factories. The project involves switching the fuel source used in a ceramics factory from a heavy fuel oil, which is carbon intensive, to biomass derived from sustainably managed forests, a renewable energy source. The choice to switch to more sustainable fuels has contributed to both reduced negative impacts on the area’s Atlantic rainforest (of which only 9% of the original forests remain), as well as has allowed for investments into environmental, social and economic initiatives.

For example, the revenues generated from the sale of credits have gone on to fund the construction of a community center and support local labor organizations like the Association of Crab and Fisherman and Friends (previous use of the factories’ fuel oil was impacting the local fisheries). Further, literacy programs have been implemented to educate the 87% of the area’s population who do not yet know how to read. And, finally, the program sponsor provides the local community with access to bricks, for building housing structures, as well as food staples. Because of these strong social aspects, this project is one of only a handful on the market today that is certified to both the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Social Carbon Standard.

The second project is located in southeast Anatolia, Turkey, in a rural area that suffers from occasional power outages. In this case, the project involves the construction of a low-impact hydropower plant consisting of two turbines that take advantage of water flow at a point in the Kesis River where there is a terrain drop. As a consequence, unlike larger scale hydro projects, no adverse environmental impacts resulted such as widespread flooding and biodiversity destruction.

From an environmental perspective, the project displaces the fossil fuels that would otherwise be used to supply southeastern Turkey’s electric grid. And from a social standpoint, the project has resulted in job creation – to build, operate and maintain the plant. Further, now the surrounding communities have access to a stable source of electric power. This project is also certified to the rigorous VCS.

Credits from both projects meet the Clean Development Mechanism’s additionality tool – meaning the project would not have gone on without the finance generated by the sale of the offset credits. The offset credits funded by our student contributions have been officially retired in an offset registry account maintained by Carbon Clear. Both Carbon Clear’s carbon credit registry and financial accounts are independently reviewed on an annual basis. Where they exist, the company uses independent third-party registries to hold and retire their carbon credits. This further assures legitimacy and avoidance of double-counting offsets.

To learn more about API’s carbon offset program, please visit our website.

Carbon Clear is a world leader in carbon management and one of the world’s largest providers of carbon offset credits. To learn more about Carbon Clear and their practices, visit their website at http://www.carbon-clear.com.

Turkey Kargilik Hydropower Plant

Guarai Renewable Biomass Fuel Switch Project

 

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