s Iceland’ dangerous proposal on Single Projects s Iceland, one of the world’ richest countries, is seeking special rules that would allow it massive s increase in GHG emissions. Iceland’ proposal on single projects should be withdrawn, and Iceland should play its full part within the Kyoto Protocol. At COP 4 in Buenos Aires in November 1998 Iceland submitted a proposal on single projects which says “… process emissions from a single project, which comes into operation after 1990 and adds in the first commitment period more than five percent to the total greenhouse gases of a Party listed in Annex B to the Protocol shall be reported separately and not included in the national totals to the extent that they would cause a Party to exceed its assigned amount, provided that global emissions of the Party were less than 0.05% of total Annex 1 emissions in 1990; renewable energy is used resulting in a reduction in emissions per unit of production; and best available practice is used to minimize process emissions.”1 At COP 5 the Icelandic proposal was deferred to COP 6 in the Hague. s Iceland’ proposal is based on the following Decision 1/CP.3 (d) of the Kyoto Protocol, “Consideration or if, and as, appropriate, action on suitable methodologies to address the situation of Parties listed in Annex B to the Protocol for which single projects would have significant proportional impact on emissions in the commitment period;” According to information provided last year by the Icelandic delegation2, the single project proposal will lead to an increase in emissions from Iceland by as much as 67.4% from 1990 levels in 2010, based only on present project proposals. This is on top of the 10% increase in GHG emissions granted to Iceland in the Kyoto Protocol. In 1995 the government of Iceland decided that “… obligations to limit emissions of greenhouse gases should not prevent new energy-intensive industrial development [i.e. single projects] in the country, which would take advantage of the country’s 1 Single projects refer to aluminium smelters, ferrosilicon plants, magnesium plants and other energy intensive industries. 2 FCCC/SBSTA/1999/MISC.3/Add.1 clean energy sources. … ”3 Already, the government of Iceland has granted operation licences to projects which will lead to an increase by 45.5% from 1990, whereas s without the single projects Iceland’ emissions will have increased by 12.3% by 2010. It appears that Iceland is making excessive use of Decision 1/CP.3 of the Kyoto Protocol in order to vastly increase emissions from single projects or energy intensive industries. To illustrate, this proposal would cover a new aluminium smelter, which was proposed in 1997. With a production capacity of 360 thousand tonnes a year, it would increase emissions from Iceland by some 22%. The smelter is to be built in eastern Iceland by the Norwegian multi national Norsk Hydro, which ironically has committed itself to reducing CO2 emissions from its activities. A government-commissioned report, published in April 1999, concluded that even including these single projects currently in operation, Iceland could meet the obligations set by the Kyoto Protocol without excessive burden on the Icelandic economy. Furthermore, the committee concluded that if emissions do increase dramatically Iceland had two options: stay outside the Kyoto Protocol or accede to the Protocol and secure emission licences by purchasing emission quotas or by joint implementation. Furthermore, Iceland has large potential for domestic sinks and land use changes. s CNE/CAN calls on Parties to reject Iceland’ proposal. Iceland is one of the richest countries in the world, with great renewable energy potential and other options for compliance with Kyoto. Multinationals like Norsk Hydro should take part in greenhouse gas abatements in Iceland rather than play role of a free rider, as would be s the case if Iceland’ proposal is adopted. Arguments that energy intensive industry such as aluminium smelters are better placed in Iceland than elsewhere because they will be driven by clean energy may have some validity, but it does not mean that emissions should not be accounted and paid for. Increase in Emissions from Iceland due to Single Projects Annual Production (thousand tonnes) Year 1. Enlargement of an aluminium smelter 162 1998 200 ? 2. Enlargement of a ferrosilicon plant 115 2000 190 ? 3. New aluminium smelter under construction 60 1999 90 2001 180 ? 4. A new aluminium smelter (Norsk Hydro) 240 2007 under negotiation (decision due February 1st 360 2008 2022. 480 ? 5. Possible magnesium plant 50 ?4 See http://www.unfccc.org/resource/docs/1999/sbsta/misc03a01.htm for more information on the Icelandic proposal. See http://www.climnet.org for CNE positions on Kyoto Protocol issues. 3 Iceland 2nd Status Report to UNFCCC. 4 This project is in the feasibility study stage. No dates can be given at this point.
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