Carbon Trading

The streets of the stock market have seen a lot of ups and downs in the recent past but what escaped the eyes of many, specially the common man, were the rise of three other investment galleries – Commodities, Gold and Carbon. And even in these three gateways, the most unheard and non-conventional way to earn is through carbon trading.

These days in the studios of construction, it is increasingly becoming fashionable to talk green. Green buildings are buildings that use lesser energy, both during construction and after construction. Furthermore, whatever energy the building consumes is provided from the non-conventional sources of energy such as solar, wind, hydraulic, geo-thermal and biomass. The most commonly used non-conventional energy sources are solar, wind and hydraulic sources.

I, as a student of architecture and planning, am taught about the design, development, strength and economics of any structure. This structure could range from house to airport, from commercial market to industrial area. And in any structure, economics plays a major, sometimes decisive role. So it becomes extremely important to study about the construction economics and to find ways, both organic and inorganic or passive and active, for reducuction of the cost of construction to provide maximum benefit to the user. In the scenario, when the oil prices are testing the USD 100 per barrel and coal prices have just doubled in the last three years, the non-conventional energy resources are still costlier than the perishable ones and so, in general, are mostly found economically non-viable for commercial use. Therefore, the most critical tasks that arise in the way of green structures are to make them either cheaper or subsidized.

To give a boost to this yawning gap between the cost of the conventional infrastructure and greener infrastructure, the world community finally woke up and decided unanimously to take financial measures to curb down the pollution levels world over within a reasonably short span of time, that too with responsibility. To decide on this issue and to document it, all the big and important nations met together and formed guidelines to curb down CO2 levels. This document is known as Kyoto Protocol. And the ways that were proposed are known as Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Under the Kyoto Protocol, the nations were divided into two groups- NX1 and NX2. The developed nations were placed in NX1 and the developing and under-developed nations were kept in NX2. In the beginning, the responsibility to curb down the levels of pollution was given to the NX1 members because they were the one mainly responsible for the rapidly rising pollution; and also, they were financially capable to do it. A target to NX1 members was given to bring down the pollution levels by a minimum 5 per cent from the year 1990 standards and the deadline kept was year 2012. A provision of fine or ban was kept for the NX1 nations that don’t comply with the targets within the specified time frame.

Sometime later, a provision was made in Kyoto Protocol that the NX1 countries could opt for the passive ways to reduce the carbon levels. This means that a NX1 country can fund a green project in a NX2 and in exchange show the energy saved in its own account. This energy was termed as credits and exchange was termed as carbon trading!

Even you can earn from this lucrative green business!

Saurabh Sharma