The Industry

Global warming is one of the most serious environmental threats facing the world today. The global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trading industry was initiated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

By regulating GHG emissions, the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol has created demand for certified emission reductions (CERs). The purchase of CERs enables greenhouse gas emitters, including countries and commercial entities such as power generators, to keep their emissions within limits determined as part of the Kyoto Protocol and the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

Hundreds of millions of metric tonnes of GHG emissions are expected to be reduced through 2012 as a result of projects that reduce GHGs in order to trade the reductions in the market.

The United Nations oversees the issuance of CERs.

For those emitters that do not fall under regulation, there are voluntary and consumer programs that allow nearly all organizations and consumers to do their part in reducing GHG emissions.

Kyoto Accord

What is the Kyoto Accord?
The Kyoto Accord is an international treaty that requires industrialized countries to reduce their collective greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least five percent compared to 1990 levels by the period 2008-2012.

What is Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and its origin?
CDM is a procedure established by the Kyoto Accord for project-based emission reduction activities in emerging countries. CDM provides these countries that accept binding emission reductions in connection with Kyoto, the opportunity to be involved in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Established funds and credits clear through an entity within the World Bank. AgCert stresses the importance of addressing the sustainable development needs of participating countries and increasing the opportunities available to groups that meet their reduction obligations. Current CDM countries include: Brazil, Mexico and Hungary.

Greenhouse Gases

What is the difference between Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and CO2 equivalent (CO2e)?
CO2 is a gas produced when any form of carbon or carbon compound is burned in excess of oxygen. CO2 is produced by occurrences such as forest fires, industrial procedures or the burning of fossil fuels. Other greenhouse gases are measured against CO2 and are referred to as CO2e's. CO2e is the universal unit of measurement used to evaluate the impacts of releasing or avoiding the release of different greenhouse gases. These include: Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N20), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and Sulphur Hexofluoride (SF6). Each of these gases has a global warming potential (GWP) calculated by the IPPCC. CO2e is calculated by taking the GWP times the number of tonnes of each GHG. For example, the GWP for N20 is 310 so each tonne of N20 is equivalent to the global warming potential of 310 tonnes of CO2.

What are the gases distinct within Greenhouse Gases (GHG)? 
Within greenhouse gases there are six main contributors to the Greenhouse Effect. These gases are regulated under the Kyoto Protocol and include Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N20). In addition to these gases, there are others that occur less frequently including Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and Sulphur Hexofluoride (SF6).