Issue 15, November 2009
In this edition:
- Sooner Than You Think...Register Now for the 2010 Partnership Expo
- New Chair and Partners Tackle Partnership Matters in Washington, D.C.
- Subcommittees Prepare for Expo and More
- Welcome, Dominican Republic
- Mumbai Landfill Awarded Advanced Carbon Credits
- Climate Action Releases Coal Mine Methane Protocol
- Methane to Markets Redesigns Web Site
- U.S. Government Documents Its Partnership Accomplishments
- Partnership Accomplishments Report Forthcoming!
- Countdown to COP 15—Help Methane to Markets Have a Presence!
- Recent Developments
Sooner Than You Think...Register Now for the 2010 Partnership Expo
No need to wait—registration for the 2010 Partnership Expo is now available. Use the Partnership Expo to showcase and learn about the latest methane mitigation projects and technologies, meet with potential partners and financiers, explore key technical, financial, and policy issues, and interact with high-level government agencies. The Methane to Markets Partnership has posted a preliminary agenda (PDF, 2 pp., 25 KB) with the outline of the events taking place from 2 to 5 March 2010. Check back soon for hotel reservation information.
Call for Projects
Do you want to showcase your project at the Expo in New Delhi? The Methane to Markets Partnership has issued its call for projects. Simply download and complete the appropriate template for your sector and send it to the Administrative Support Group (ASG) by 15 November 2009.
Sponsor the Expo
Sponsoring the Partnership Expo is one of the best ways to raise your organization's profile at the world's largest and most prestigious international gathering for methane professionals. You will receive complimentary entrance tickets and secure prime space to display your project opportunities and technologies. Application forms and details are available.
New Chair and Partners Tackle Partnership Matters in Washington, D.C.
High-level representatives from 14 Methane to Markets Partner Governments met in Washington, D.C., in September at the 6th meeting of the Methane to Markets Steering Committee to discuss the progress of the Partnership and its direction in the year to come. Gina McCarthy, the new Steering Committee Chair and U.S. EPA Office of Air and Radiation Assistant Administrator, chaired the meeting, moderating discussions over a wide range of topics.
The Steering Committee admitted the Dominican Republic into the Partnership, extended the Partnership's Terms of Reference (TOR) for another year, established a task force to solicit Partner input regarding the inclusion of the wastewater sector within the Partnership's scope, and agreed to coordinate an Expo session on enteric fermentation and rice cultivation to further gauge Partner interest in these sectors. The Steering Committee members also agreed to plan a ministerial event in 2010 in conjunction with a Conference of the Parties (COP) Ministerial Meeting in Mexico, where a draft TOR will be discussed. At the next Steering Committee meeting, to be held in conjunction with the 2010 Partnership Expo, members will consider changes to enhance the TOR.
Subcommittees Prepare for Expo and More
On 3 September 2009, the Agricultural Subcommittee members held a meeting in Guangzhou, China. The Subcommittee discussed preparations for the 2010 Partnership Expo, considered incorporating enteric fermentation and rice cultivation into the scope of the Partnership, and developed recommendations for the Steering Committee on that topic. The Subcommittee also reviewed newly developed draft protocols for anaerobic digesters. Held in conjunction with the International Conference on Water Pollution Reduction and Climate Change Mitigation, the meeting also included site visits. Participants visited three swine farms with anaerobic digester projects and a village where the residents use biogas for cooking and heating water.
On 12 October 2009, the Coal Mines Subcommittee met in Geneva, Switzerland, in conjunction with the meeting of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Fifth Session of the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane . Representatives from both Partner Countries and the Project Network shared their plans for participation in the 2010 Partnership Expo and discussed ideas for four coal-specific sessions. Additionally, the Subcommittee reviewed the call for presentations and call for project opportunities issued over the summer and ways in which Partners and Project Network members could become involved in the 2010 Expo, such as showcasing posters, making presentations, and becoming sponsors.
On 21 September 2009, the Landfill Subcommittee met in Long Beach, California. The Subcommittee focused on preparing for the 2010 Partnership Expo, considered topics for a session on landfill policy and technical training opportunities. At the request of the Steering Committee, the Subcommittee also considered wastewater as a new source for Partnership activities, ultimately recommending its inclusion in the Partnership under the work of the Landfill Subcommittee. Representatives from Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Poland, and the United States attended the meeting, along with Project Network members.
Oil and Gas Systems
On 16 September 2009, the Oil and Gas Subcommittee met in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. Participants discussed the upcoming 2010 Partnership Expo and the Subcommittee's role in preparations, as well as plans to develop a compendium of standards for identifying and measuring methane emissions. Held in conjunction with a Technology Transfer Workshop and a joint meeting with the Asia Pacific Partnership, the Subcommittee meeting included a technical workshop, as well as a site visit to a gas processing plant.
Welcome, Dominican Republic
In September 2009, Methane to Markets expanded into the Caribbean with the admission of the Dominican Republic into the Partnership. The Dominican Republic will be the Partnership's 31st Partner Government and its representatives will join the Agriculture and Landfills Subcommittees. Dominican representatives are looking to reduce methane emissions in the sugar, fruit processing, swine, and dairy sectors.
Mumbai Landfill Awarded Advanced Carbon Credits
For the first time in India, thanks to the market for carbon credits, a landfill has been transformed into an asset for the local community. The Gorai Landfill, outside Mumbai, has earned US $5.2 million for 26 carbon credits for captured gas, 70 percent of which are estimated to be methane. Although the methane is currently flared, local officials plan to reuse it to generate electricity. The municipal corporation of Mumbai signed an Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement with the Asian Development Bank for future delivery of carbon credits. The carbon credits are determined by the estimated reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases from the capped landfill. Methane and other greenhouse gases are the product of 35 years and 2.3 million tons of accumulated solid waste at the site that break down and are collected by a network of pipes. In addition to addressing the environmental problems related to the disposal of waste, the capture and reuse of gas at the Gorai Landfill provides a local source of energy as well as revenue from the carbon credits. The initial feasibility study for this project was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. EPA provided additional technical support to the municipality.
Climate Action Releases Coal Mine Methane Protocol
In October 2009, the Climate Action Reserve released the Coal Mine Methane (CMM) Project Protocol (PDF, 75 pp., 775 KB) . The CMM Project Protocol provides a standardized approach for quantifying, monitoring, and verifying the greenhouse gas reductions from projects at active underground coal mines in the United States. The protocol includes guidance for ventilation air methane projects and non-pipeline drainage projects.
Methane to Markets Redesigns Web Site
The new Methane to Markets Web site is live! With so many activities taking place in Methane to Markets Partner Governments across all sectors, the new Web site enables individuals to easily find the information and resources that are most relevant and in different languages. Note these improvements:
- More pages now available in different languages
- Improved access to Partner information
- New content, such as success stories, events, and current news
- Easier sector-specific information and navigation
U.S. Government Documents Its Partnership Accomplishments
Proud of its accomplishments with and participation in the Partnership, the United States released its fourth annual U.S. Government's Methane to Markets Partnership Accomplishments Report in October 2009. The report summarizes the contributions U.S. government agencies have made to the Partnership during 2008 and since the launch of the Partnership in November 2004, including specific steps taken to dismantle barriers and advance project development internationally. U.S.-supported Methane to Markets projects delivered methane emissions reductions of more than 26 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, roughly the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 4.7 million passenger vehicles.
Partnership Accomplishments Report Forthcoming!
We are pleased to announce that the Partnership Accomplishments Report (PAR) will be ready soon! With plans to post the PAR online in November 2009 and distribute it at the December 2009 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 15 in Copenhagen, the Partnership is delighted to make this resource available. Sincere thanks to all of those who provided country data, submitted project information, and reviewed drafts of the report.
Countdown to COP 15—Help Methane to Markets Have a Presence!
The UNFCCC COP 15 , will take place from 7 to 18 December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Methane to Markets will be there, but help is needed to boost the presence of the Partnership at the most important climate change meeting of the year. If you will be at the COP and would like to display Partnership materials, please contact the ASG. Also, please come to the Methane to Markets side event that will be held in the U.S. Pavilion on Wednesday, 9 December from 9-10 a.m. Methane to Markets representatives from Partner Governments will be attending and providing updates to the Methane to Markets community through the Web site, the Methane to Markets Facebook page , and future editions of this newsletter.
- CMM Report Published. In January 2009, the Agency for Rational Energy Use and Ecology and Battelle Memorial Institute published Analysis of International Best Practices for Coal Mine Methane Recovery and Utilization (PDF 14 pp., 84 KB) . The report aims to address the barriers to CMM project development in Ukraine. It also provides an overview of other countries' successful polices and institutional choices that have led to significant reductions in global CMM emissions. The document highlights regulatory provisions, economic and financial incentives, CMM stakeholders, outreach programs, and CMM/coalbed methane utilization technologies that are seen as "best practices" in several different countries.
- Methane to Markets Landfill Gas (LFG) Workshop Productive and Publicized. In August 2009, Methane to Markets held a training workshop on LFG in Colombia in conjunction with the Ninth International Congress on Solid Waste, an international conference that brings together government officials and solid waste management professionals from around the world. More than 50 participants attended the workshop, including landfill and solid waste officials representing several municipalities in Colombia. In addition to the workshop, Methane to Markets held successful meetings with the Colombian Ministry of Environment and the Federal Superintendent of Public Services to discuss plans for continued collaboration under the Partnership. In September, Colombia's La Republica published an article , written in Spanish, discussing ongoing efforts in Colombia to capture and use methane at four landfills and the future development of a new U.S. EPA landfill methane model for Colombia. The article also mentions Colombia's participation under Methane to Markets, along with additional activities in the solid waste arena.
- Methane to Markets Visits Argentina. In September 2009, Methane to Markets participated in a panel at the Latin America Mayor's Summit. The summit was held in conjunction with the International Solid Waste Association conference. The conference was attended by mayors and municipal officials throughout Latin America. Methane to Markets also participated in a Landfill Operations and Management Training Workshop in Salta, Argentina. The workshop was hosted by Methane to Markets grantee Association for Solid Waste . The objective of the training workshop was to share information about how to improve the overall conditions of a landfill as well as improving the feasibility of LFG projects.
- Methane to Markets Attends Brazilian Seminar. In September 2009, Methane to Markets attended Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Brazilian Cities in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The event was sponsored by Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) . It brought together more than 60 participants from key Brazilian institutions and focused on exploring Brazilian examples of successful LFG projects as well as the challenges of developing these projects. Breakout sessions centered on discussions and action-planning with municipalities currently exploring LFG project opportunities. Highlights of these discussions will be incorporated into a best practices guide for Brazilian municipalities, which ICLEI is developing with Methane to Markets grant funding.
- Landfill Methane to Markets Workshop in Ukraine. In September 2009, a Landfill Methane to Markets Workshop was held in Kiev, Ukraine. The workshop was organized and hosted by Ukraine's Scientific Engineering Center Biomass with support from the U.S. EPA and the Ministry of Environment Protection of Ukraine . The workshop provided Ukrainian stakeholders training on LFG basics and the potential for LFG projects in Ukraine. Topics included LFG systems and technology applications, potential for LFG projects in Ukraine, and the new Ukraine Landfill Gas Model. U.S. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program gave an introductory presentation and discussed the experience of the Methane to Markets Partnership in promoting LFG projects.
- U.S. EPA's Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP) Releases CMM Report. In September 2009, CMOP released Coal Mine Methane Recovery: A Primer (PDF, 72 pp., 2.7 MB) . The report reviews the main pre-mining and post-mining CMM drainage methods with associated costs, water disposal options, and in-mine and surface gas collection systems.This report primarily includes examples from the two countries with the most developed CMM industries, Australia and the United States. The intended audiences are potential investors in CMM projects and project developers seeking an overview of the basic technical details of CMM drainage methods and projects.
- U.S. EPA's Natural Gas STAR Program Delivers Results. In September 2009, Natural Gas STAR issued its Fall Partner Update , which included an article describing the program's success in reducing methane emissions. International Partners, in their second year of reporting, recorded over 51 billion cubic feet of methane emissions reductions in 2008. These voluntary emissions reductions demonstrate the continued effectiveness of information sharing and technology transfer among worldwide partners within the program.
- New York Times Addresses Methane Emissions From Oil and Gas Systems. In October 2009, The New York Times published "Curbing Emissions by Sealing Gas Leaks ," a front-page article detailing the importance of curbing methane emissions from leaks in the oil and gas industry. Methane to Markets is cited as providing pathways for businesses to cut methane emissions, increase profits, and combat climate change.
- Methane to Markets Attends 24th World Gas Conference. In October 2009, representatives from Natural Gas STAR and Methane to Markets attended the 24th World Gas Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Natural Gas STAR and Methane to Markets presented a poster and exhibited a paper which won "Best Paper" at the conference. Entitled "Methane's Role in Promoting Sustainable Development in the Oil and Natural Gas Industry," the paper was developed in collaboration with PEMEX , Pluspetrol , Gazprom, and EnCana. It showcased the environmental and economic benefits of successful methane emissions reduction projects and highlighted projects that focused on changing operational practices, installing new production equipment, and optimizing natural gas processing and transmission procedures.
- São Paolo Approves State Climate Change Bill. In October 2009, Brazil's most populous state approved a landmark State Policy Climate Change Bill, a draft (PDF, 25 pp., 494 KB) of which is posted online. The policy includes significant provisions, including an ambitious target of 20 percent reductions of greenhouse gases from a base year of 2005 by 2020. Under the policy, the state will inventory anthropogenic emissions by sources using nationally and internationally comparable methodologies, establish regional plans for mitigation and adaptation, and promote technology transfer, scientific cooperation, and education, training, and public awareness. José Serra, the Governor of São Paolo, is expected to sign the bill in November 2009 before the UNFCCC's COP 15 .