The country will get $3 million from a World Bank agency to set up a domestic carbon trading market.
The World bank through its Partnership for Market Readiness is defining the structure for a carbon trading scheme to offset emissions of so-called greenhouse gases.
Offsetting carbon emissions with trade credits is being called voluntary now, but part of the money from the partnership will be used to outline a legal framework.
The project and the entire system of carbon credits is based on the assumption that the release of carbon dioxide by humans and their modern machinery is central to the increase in global temperatures. That is what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said, and the Kyoto Protocol, which is expiring, seeks to provide a framework for control.
Costa Rican officials have established a goal of making the country carbon neutral by 2021. Although the current project is described as only for domestic use, the country’s officials have long dreamed of being able to market carbon credits to the industrialized world on the assumption that the carbon sequestered by the country’s trees and other vegetation can be measured accurately and sold.
As the partnership notes, carbon markets require monitoring, reporting, verification, data collection and management within a regulatory framework. Firms can generate carbon credits by installing efficient machinery that produces less carbon dioxide than the equipment that they had. Credits also can be generated by reforestation, forest protection and similar activities.
In the short run, those businesses that seek to declare themselves to be carbon neutral could purchase carbon credits to offset the emissions that they cannot prevent. A number of firms promote carbon neutrality in their marketing.
René Castro was quoted in a release from the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía that he heads saying that the carbon credits are an instrument for voluntary goals. They also are seen as a way to stimulate action to decrease emissions.
There already are several locations in the world where carbon credits can be traded. Each credit represents a ton of carbon dioxide.