Carbon credits could subsidise mass transit

The Nation

The ticket price on the mass transit system will be lower if the line can be claimed as a clean-development-mechanism (CDM) project.

Sirithan Pairojboriboon, executive director of Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation (TGO), said the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTTPP) and Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) were studying which types of transportation projects could be claimed as CDM projects and sell the carbon credits.

"When the tickets are cheaper, the passengers may shift from driving to travelling by mass transit, which will result in fewer cars on the road and fewer greenhouse-gas emissions as well," he explained.

However, it is difficult to verify the amount of emitted-carbon reduction.

"If OTTPP and EXAT can prove it, they will be able to trade the carbon credits and generate the additional revenue to subsidise the ticket fee. This may be the cycle for this project," he said.

CDM projects are gaining more and more attention because of global environmental concern and the challenge of climate change, he said.

European airlines, for example, will be forced to comply with the CO2 reduction scheme by 2011, and all airlines flying to Europe are required to meet the same scheme by 2012.

However, he said Thailand faced a shortage of designated operational entities (DOEs). As a result, more than 1,000 projects are waiting for registration, while only 23 DOE firms are available in the Kingdom.

So far Thailand has 82 projects with letters of approval and two certified projects.

Of these, 60 per cent are biogas power plants, 20 per cent biomass power plants and the remaining 20 per cent utilise fuel-switching and heat waste.