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Omnia to endorse Kyoto Protocol

Omnia, a specialist chemical services company providing customised solutions in the chemicals, mining and agriculture markets, today announced its intention to apply to become eligible for emission reduction projects under the Kyoto Protocol which came into effect on 16 February 2005.

The Kyoto Protocol is a legally binding international agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to below the 1990 levels.

The protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM) allows developed countries to trade carbon credits in international markets. The mechanism enables companies in developed countries that are struggling to meet stringent emission reduction targets to buy credits from countries that pollute less than their allotted limits.

Commenting on the Protocol, Rod Humphris, Managing director of Omnia, said:

“Global warming and the increasing risk of weather fluctuations have prompted a co-ordinated global response. Omnia is committed to sustainable development and a continual improvement in environmental matters and to this end Omnia Fertilizer has started preparing its Sasolburg plant to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions by between 500 000 to 600 000 carbon dioxide equivalent tons per year. This could potentially generate between R80 and 100 million in annual revenue, based on the current price of €22.47 a ton of Carbon Emission Reduction (CER) units.”

CER units can be traded like other commodities and the price is likely to depend on supply and demand factors.

The Kyoto Protocol requires that all CDM-projects be subjected to validation and verification/certification by an operating entity, i.e. an approved third party verifier. The companies are then responsible for implementing the registered monitoring plan and calculating the emission reductions.

“The majority of industrialised countries signed up to the Kyoto Protocol have committed to reductions in their collective greenhouse gas. The European Union is due to initiate its carbon-trading programme in 2005, and will possibly allow for the use of carbon credits from countries outside the Union,” said Humphris.

Almost all the industrialised countries have committed to reductions in their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 2008-2012. The current penalty for non-compliance is €40 a ton of carbon dioxide emitted from next year to 2008. This rises to €100 per ton from 2008.