Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said earnings of Negros Occidental from carbon credits will fund health, education and sustainable livelihood projects in the province.
The earnings will allow the construction of hospitals and farm to market roads, and fund scholarships, among other projects, he said.
Marañon, in behalf of Negros Occidental, and Christopher Frederick, Sovereign Green Global Australia Limited director, signed a Memorandum of Understanding that covers the implementation of a Clean Development Mechanism in Negros Occidental on Thursday.
The governor thanked Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan for giving him authority to enter into the MOU which, he said, covers the implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism in Negros Occidental.
In its session Wednesday, the Sanggunian approved the resolution authored by SP Member Patrick Lacson, chairman of the Committee on Environment, which stipulated that programs under the CDM will be funded by carbon credits that will be facilitated by the SGGA.
Frederick and SGGA executive Michael McCabe, estimated that Negros Occidental, which is seen to have an average of 100,000 hectares of forestal lands, is expected to generate about US$200 million of carbon credits anchored on a minimum value pegged at US$2,000 per hectare.
Under the MOU, SGGA committed to meet its deliverables with 50 percent of the monetized funds going to various humanitarian, economic, environmental, education, health, sustainable livelihood and wealth-creation activities and social welfare programs of the province, while the remaining 50 percent stays with the SGGA to cover the company’s operational and management costs during the lifespan of the project.
Documentation and signing of formal agreements are expected to be completed in 12 months, but SGGA assured provincial leaders that their first project for Negros Occidental will also commence within the same time frame.
Carbon credits and carbon markets are a component of national and international attempts to mitigate the growth in concentrations of greenhouse gasses (GHG's), Board Member Patrick Lacson said, explaining that one carbon credit is equal to one metric ton of carbon dioxide.
The 1997 "Kyoto Protocol" defines mechanisms that allow industrialized nations to meet their GHG obligations by buying GHG reduction credits from other countries, he said.
This allows third world countries to carry out projects under CDM and make a profit by trading the carbon credits with developed countries, he explained.
In essence, rich countries that cannot meet their GHG reduction targets, buy from poorer countries that have credits in excess, Lacson said.*CPG