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Jul 20, 2004
Indian villages in global carbon trading

About two years ago when GoodNewsIndia reported that an Indian company was ready to export carbon credits, it had seemed a very savvy, avant-garde move. Now Indian villages have hurried along, ahead of many Indian corporates. A most appropriately named village, Powerguda in Adilabad district Andhra Pradesh has pioneered a sale to the World Bank for $645.

The village was selling 147 tonnes equivalent of saved carbon dioxide credits. What are carbon credits and what is carbon trading? Quoting from the above cited article: “Let’s rewind to the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 by which all countries are required to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5% --from 1990 levels-- in the next ten years, ie 2012—or pay a price to those that do.” The idea is, that if a country is a consumer of an environmental value like clean air, it must pay a producer of an equivalent value.

Powerguda’s claim of having saved 147 MT of CO2 is based on the bio-diesel they extracted from 4500 Pongamia trees in their village. Using this —instead of petroleum—in oil engines would enhance air quality. World Bank in a behaviour model worth emulating by other corporates, was buying those carbon credits to balance the aviation fuel burnt by aircraft carrying Bank officials.

Mr Emmanuel D’Silva, a former World Bank staffer has been working extensively among Andhra Pradesh villagers, creating awareness about this market opportunity that awaits them. In a communication to GoodNewsIndia in June,2004 he reports that five other villages have followed Powerguda and made carbon credit sales.

Mr Nalin Kishor of the World Bank who heads the programme has kindly permitted the article in the following page, to be reproduced for GoodNewsIndia’s readers. It originally appeared at the Profor site.

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