The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Dutch-Belgian finance group Fortis announced on Feb 21, 2008 that the first project agreements of the new MDG Carbon Facility, a joint effort to support greenhouse-gas-reducing development projects through the carbon-trading mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol.
The projects, located in Uzbekistan, Macedonia, Yemen and Rwanda, aspire to use financing from carbon credits to benefit not only the environment, but also to further economic and social development in those countries. All of the projects would bring the benefits of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) support to countries where previously there has been little or no CDM activity. UNDP and Fortis announced the projects’ initial agreements at an event during the Sixth European Business Summit, titled “Greening the Economy.” The ‘MDGs’ short for the ‘Millennium Development Goals’, are specific 2015 targets, agreed by United Nations member states, for diminishing global poverty and achieving major advances in health, education, environment and equality.
“Fortis is proud to be working with UNDP to spread the benefits of the carbon market to new parts of the developing world,” said Seb Walhain, Director of Environmental Markets at Fortis Merchant Banking. “This is only a start for the MDG Carbon Facility, but it’s an excellent start showcasing exactly the benefits we wanted to prove could be gained from carbon finance. We now need to capitalise on the climate-change momentum and convert it to real progress on a broad front.”
“The MDG Carbon Facility enables us to do two things at once: Support sustainable development at ground level and also make a real contribution to worldwide efforts to mitigate emissions,” added Olav Kjorven, UNDP Assistant Administrator and a member of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Change Team. “The commitment of Fortis to these goals clearly demonstrates the positive role the private sector can play in the climate-change response.”
The MDG Carbon Facility’s first four project agreements consist of three methane capture projects located in Uzbekistan, Macedonia, and Yemen, and a renewable energy project in Rwanda. Having signed initial agreements, these projects are now undergoing a detailed due diligence process by UNDP and Fortis.