An interview with Ms Pongvipa Lohsomboon, Director of Carbon Business Office, Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (Public Organization), or TGO, on efforts to establish a domestic voluntary carbon market, and implement Thailand Voluntary Emission Reduction program (T-VER).
Q: Can you tell us about the work and responsibilities of your organization?
A: We want to establish a voluntary carbon market in Thailand that aims to support every stakeholder, including private companies, to implement cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reduction activities as well as to learn how to manage domestic emission trading scheme and carbon offsetting program, which will include mitigation measures to help Thailand move forward to a Low Carbon Society.
Thailand Voluntary Emission Reduction Program, or the so-called “T-VER”, is one of greenhouse gas emission reduction mechanisms under Thailand’s domestic voluntary carbon market. It is a project-based program like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the UNFCCC but with simpler methodologies, less transaction cost, and a creditable emission reduction system. In 2011- 2013, TGO has studied and developed the Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system, T-VER general guideline and registry system to set up operational guidelines and manage greenhouse gas reduction projects under the T-VER program.
This program is a domestic carbon offset program using “baseline and credit” approach to calculate GHG emission reduction from an emission reduction project. Under this program, there is no limitation for size of a project, and small projects can be bundled and registered as a single project. Gas coverage under the T-VER program comprises of CO2, CH4, and N2O.
Q: How many types of projects are covered under the T-VER program?
A: Seven are now on our potential list, namely:
1. Energy Efficiency. This project type aims for efficiency improvement on electricity consumption and/or generation, as well as efficiency improvement on heat consumption and/or generation.
2. Alternative Energy. This involves GHG emission reduction from utilization of bio-diesel and ethanol.
3. Renewable Energy. This involves electricity and heat generation from renewable resources.
4. Solid Waste Management. Emissions will be reduced through landfill management, fertilizing organic waste, and turning waste into energy (RDF).
5. Transportation Management. This involves fuel switching in vehicles, emissions reduction through non-motorized transportation, fuel switching in transportation system, and energy saving vehicle.
6. Forestry and Green Area. This calls for carbon capture through public parks and urban forest, vertical gardening, forest conservation (A/R, REDD+), and agro-forestry.
7. Agriculture. This involves good practice on using fertilizers in agricultural areas, and low carbon rice from management of agricultural practice.
We also handle any type of projects or activities approved by TGO. A number of T-VER methodologies are developed by TGO while some are simplified from CDM methodologies. Additionally, the MRV system is developed in line with ISO 14064-2 and 14064-3. There are 6 principles in T-VER implementation, namely Transparency, Relevance, Accuracy, Completeness, Consistency, and Conservativeness. These principles aim to ensure that T-VER credits are reliable and creditable.
Q: Can you tell us more about the T-VER program?
A: The project cycle of T-VER is similar to any project-based program. Project Developer (PD) has to develop the PDD (project design document) and submit it to the Validation/Verification Body (VVB), which is registered by the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Sub-Committee, to validate a project. To register as a T-VER project, the PD has to submit an application form, PDD and other required documents to TGO, which is the Secretariat for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Sub-Committee, while VVB is required to submit a validation report and a validation statement to TGO.
After the Sub-Committee approves and registers the project as a T-VER project, PD can send a request for issuance of T-VER credits to TGO together with a monitoring report and ask VVB to submit its verification report and verification statement to the Sub-Committee for approval and issuance of T-VER credits.
Q: Are there any other programs under TGO?
A: Yes. One is the Thailand Voluntary Emission Trading Scheme, or the so-called Thailand VETS or TVETS, which is another mechanism under the domestic voluntary carbon market. TVETS uses a cap and trade system to help industries reduce their greenhouse gases in a cost-effective manner. The MRV system for TVETS will be developed in line with ISO 14064-1 and 14064-3.
Since 2010, TGO has conducted several research studies to identify appropriate calculation methodologies for GHG emissions in industries, cap-setting and allocation methods, as well as institutional framework, operating rules and proposed appropriate models for TVETS. Results from these research studies were shared with and received consultation from many stakeholders in industrial sectors -- such as steel, cement, glass, petrochemical and chemical, power, refinery, pulp and paper, and others. Numerous consultations were conducted since 2012 to brainstorm on the current issues and receive comments and recommendations from industrial sectors.
In 2013, TGO carried out a project to develop the MRV system for TVETS. TGO also planned to organize several consultation meetings with industries to disseminate knowledge on ETS and receive comments and recommendations prior to finalizing the operational rules and launching TVETS in October 2014.