Carbon Lag

March 27, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is still far behind neighbouring countries in carbon trading which has the potential to earn much foreign exchange, experts said. The island can plant indigenous forests and develop alternatives to carbon emitting energy sources to do carbon trading which is still not being used to its fullest extent, analysts at the Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA) said.

Carbon trading is a scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by giving them a monetary value. A credit gives the owner the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide.

Countries can create credit by planting carbon absorbing trees or adopting carbon free energy sources. The countries earning such credits can sell these to carbon emitters.

“Sri Lanka has developed six projects, by bundling together about 20 mini hydro power plants, whose carbon credits are traded to other countries,” Suren Batagoda, a consultant for SEMA said.

“We can earn 30,000 dollars per year per mega watt of electricity. We have around 40 more projects in the pipeline.”

Worldwide, 100 million tonnes of carbon is traded each year, but Sri Lanka does only 5,000 to 6,000 tonne