Programme of Activities (PoA): Motivation to act on climate change extends to the small scale
TÜV SÜD accompanied several PoAs in Germany, is currently validating projects in Tunisia and Honduras.
Solar thermal installations in every household and plentiful micro-hydropower plants: implementation of a large number of small-scale climate-change projects can achieve considerable savings in greenhouse-gas emissions. To underpin this, the Programme of Activities (PoA) has been established under the flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol. The PoA offers initiators the opportunity to generate tradable certified emission reductions (CERs) with the minimum of bureaucracy.
With its Programmes of Activities (PoA), established in 2007 as a flexible mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, the UN aims to advance climate-change activities in newly industrialized and developing countries in particular. PoAs, however, may not only prove effective within the scope of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) for projects in developing countries, but also in Joint Implementation (JI) for projects in industrialized countries. The objective in both cases is to capture and reduce small sources of greenhouse gases which are responsible for climate change – and, in return, issue Certified Emission Reductions (CERs), one of the currencies of the Kyoto Protocol. The solution: a special PoA validation procedure which reduces the relative costs of individual climate-change projects if a large number of these projects are implemented. "This may be the tipping point that brings profitability to the realization of a climate-change project", says Stephan Hild, Carbon Management Services, TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH.
In developing countries in particular, sustainable development is boosted by "micro-activities" that are suitable for a Programme of Activities. Possible initiators include public institutions, private investors and NGOs. TÜV SÜD is currently engaged in validating two of the eight PoAs underway at international level. Project 1: In Tunisia, solar thermal plants, i.e. installations which use heat from the sun to supply hot water, are installed in private households. Initiators are the Tunisian Energy Department and the German Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations). Project 2: In Honduras, a private initiative is installing a series of micro-hydropower plants. There, TÜV SÜD experts even conduct validation in accordance with the CDM Gold Standard established at the initiative of the WWF and other environmental conservation bodies. The objective is for climate-change projects not only to address the reduction of greenhouse-gas effects but also to tackle social aspects, such as combating poverty and generating employment effects.
But now back to PoAs: In what respect is PoA validation different from the approach applied to "large-scale" CDM and JI projects? TÜV SÜD experts have analysed the regulatory framework of the PoA in depth. "A PoA is like an umbrella under which all individual activities take place", notes Hild. Under this umbrella, the Carbon Management experts validate a specific project while simultaneously defining the criteria that must be fulfilled to include further individual projects (known as CPAs). This means that the experts put the framework and the initial project through their paces and this, in turn, proves beneficial to the handling of subsequent individual projects. Result: lower transaction costs for initiators. Stephan Hild explains, "This procedure is an additional motivation to implement small-scale climate-change projects which add up to a significant reduction in greenhouse gases."
TÜV SÜD's Carbon Management Services experts not only provide PoA services at international level, but have also validated numerous energy-efficiency projects of this type in Germany.