IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

10.5.5 Clean Development Mechanism/Joint Implementation

Because lack of financing is a major impediment to improved waste and wastewater management in EIT and developing countries, the JI and CDM have been useful mechanisms for obtaining external investment from industrialized countries. As described in Section 10.3, open dumping and burning are common waste disposal methods in many developing countries, where GHG emissions occur concurrently with odours, public health and safety problems, and environmental degradation. In addition, developing countries often do not have existing infrastructure for collection and treatment of municipal wastewaters. Thus, the benefits from JI and CDM are twofold: improving waste management practices and reducing GHG emissions. To date, CDM has assisted many landfill gas recovery projects (see Box 10.2) while improving landfill operations, because adequate cover materials are required to minimize air intrusion during gas extraction (to prevent internal landfill fires). The validation of CDM projects requires attention to baselines, additionality and other criteria contained in approved methodologies (Hiramatsu et al., 2003); however, for landfill gas CDM projects, certified emission reductions (CERs, with units of tCO2-eq) are determined directly from quantification of the CH4 captured and combusted. In many countries, the anaerobic digestion of wastewaters and sludges could produce a useful biogas for heating use or onsite electrical generation (Government of Japan, 1997; Government of Republic of Poland, 2001); such projects could also be suitable for JI and CDM. In the future, waste sector projects involving municipal wastewater treatment, carbon storage in landfills or compost, and avoided GHG emissions due to recycling, composting, or incineration could potentially be implemented pending the development of approved methodologies.

Box 10.2: Significant role of landfill gas recovery for CDM projects: overview and example

As of late October 2006, 376 CDM projects had achieved registration. These include 33 landfill gas projects, which collectively total 12% of the annual average CERs (12 million of approximately 91 million CERs per year). (http://cdm.unfccc.int/Projects/registered.html). The pie chart shows the distribution of landfill gas CERs by country. Most of these projects are located in Latin America and the Carribean region (72% of landfill gas CERs), dominated by Brazil (nine projects; 48% of CERs). Some projects are flaring gas, while others are using the gas for on-site electrical generation or direct-use projects (including leachate evaporation). Although eventual landfill gas utilization is desirable, an initial flaring project under CDM can simplify the CDM process (fewer participants, lower capital cost) and permit definition of composite gas quantity and quality prior to capital investment in engines or other utilization hardware.

Figure 10.9

Figure 10.9: Distribution of landfill gas CDM projects based on average annual CERs for registered projects late October 2006 (unfccc.org). Includes 10.9 Mt CERs for landfill CH4 of 91 Mt total CERs. Projects <100,000 CERs/yr are located in Israel, Bolivia, Bangladesh and Malaysia

Figure 10.10

Figure 10.10: ONYX SASA Landfill Gas Recovery Project .VES landfill, Trémembé, Sao Paulo State

An example of a successful Brazilian project is the ONYX SASA Landfill Gas Recovery Project at the VES landfill, Trémembé, Sao Paulo State. The recovered landfill gas is flared and used to evaporate leachate. As of December, 2005, approximately 93,600 CERs had been delivered (Veolia Environmental Services, 2005).