Voluntary Carbon Markets work independently of the flexibility markets that are subject to emissions trading of the Kyoto Protocol. Projects for the Voluntary Carbon Market, organized within the framework of the environmental and social responsibility principles, are being developed in Turkey since 2005.
Voluntary Carbon Markets are developed independently of the governments’ goals and policies to combat climate change. For carbon offset purposes, people from all strata can participate in it. Local administrations, non-governmental organizations, business world and individuals can participate for carbon offset purposes. In recent years, these markets have developed quickly with increased public awareness about climate change and its effects and public acclaim of the fact that carbon offsetting is a reliable measure strategy. Companies that want to offset the greenhouse gas emissions caused by their activities, purchase the carbon certificates produced by the projects that provide emission reduction within the framework of the social responsibility principle, to reduce and offset these emissions by calculating them.
Emissions certificates that are traded in the Voluntary Carbon Market are called Voluntary Emission Reduction certificates. More than 300 renewable energy projects in Turkey continue to work to obtain Voluntary Emission Reduction certificates. Approximately 35% of voluntary carbon projects are carried out by Life Enerji in Turkey.
As a matter of current situation, all the projects carried out in Turkey are being processed in the Voluntary Carbon Market. The following table shows the number and types of projects and annual greenhouse gas emission reductions.
Most of the projects in Turkey are developed according to Gold Standard. In recent years, VCS (Verified Carbon Standard) projects have become widespread in Turkey. The distribution of gold standard and VCS projects are shown below by the number of projects and the amounts of greenhouse gas emission reduction.
Approximately 50% of voluntary carbon projects are certified and certification procedures for other projects are ongoing in Turkey.
The steps of the developed project process for launching certificates to the market are listed below.
- Pre-assessment process
- Meetings for informing local stakeholders
- Preparation process of project design documents
- Validation and registration process
- Verification and launching certificates to the market
Projects that successfully perform these stages and obtain their certificates are qualified for certificate sale. Companies who want to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions can purchase certificates according to the type and the amount of reduction of the project they are interested in.
Although the Voluntary Carbon Market has a small percentage in the World Carbon Market, it offers a great opportunity for Turkey’s future to participate in the carbon markets. In addition to contributing to the strengthening of Turkey’s technical infrastructure, it can be said that it makes clean technologies attractive for investors for climate regime after 2012.