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By Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi, LLB, PhD.

The carbon credits are like price money for real estate sector. Carbon Credits are given for the points earned by any venture for saving energy and less carbondioxide in the air. World over, after Kyoto Protocol signed by most of the United Nation members, carbon credit concept is gaining momentum for awards in monetary terms. They are a key component of national and international emissions trading schemes that have been implemented to mitigate global warming.

Real Estate developers in India are game for cashing on the carbon credits generated by their projects. The credits can be generated for completed projects as well as planned for energy savings. Credits can be exchanged between business or bought and sold in international markets at the prevailing market price.

The protocol agreed to put a cap or quotas on the maximum amount of greenhouse gases for developed and developing countries. In turn these countries set quotas on the emission of local business processes. A credit can be an emission allowance which was originally allocated or auctioned by the national administrators of a cap-and-trade program, or it can be an offset of emissions.

For trading purposes, one allowance or Certified Emission Reductions (CER) is considered equivalent to one metric tone of CO2 emission. These CER can be sold privately or in the international market at the prevailing market price. Each international transfer is validated by the UNFCCC.

Carbon credits create a market for reducing greenhouse emissions by giving monetary value to the cost of polluting the air. It is important for any project to prove “Additionality”, a term used by Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism. To prove Addionality, a Carbon Credit reduction project would not have occurred had it not been for concern for the mitigation of climate change.

US presidential candidate Obama and rock star Meradona were compelled by authorities to purchase Carbon Credits for their campaign and shows. In India, ITC Sonar Bangla, Kolkata, is world’s first hotel to obtain CER besides Hotel Orchid in Mumbai which has created and generated Carbon credits.

Real Estate projects, those completed are getting audited their process, and those which are under planning stage are going in for energy saving complexes to reduce the carbon emission while constructing, precuring local building materials and providing water harvesting and Solar systems for alternate to electricity.

As of November 2007, 175 parties have ratified the Protocol. Of these, 36 developed countries plus the European Union are required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These represent 61.6 % of emissions from Annex I countries.

As of September 2008 and running through 2012, Annex I countries have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by a collective average of 5% below their 1990 levels. Hence Carbon Credits are going for a great demand. Just like TDR concept, Carbon Credit are also gaining momentum in India.