Value of Carbon Not Fixed

Post Courier: 24/09/09

The value of PNG’s 96 million hectares of forest when traded for carbon credits is yet to be worked out, a senior officer from the Office of Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability has said.

Karl Sopol, policy manager at the OCCES, said it costs about 29 Euros per ton of carbon stock on the international market, but the cost of PNG’s 96 million hectares of forest is yet to be worked out. Mr. Sopol told media representatives attending a sea series lecture yesterday that financing costs of climate change effects and related projects will be massive and that the Government needs to invest in this area.

He said PNG’s current budget of about K7 million, where K4 million goes to pay public servants, leaves only K2 million to operate with and that is not enough. “There will hardly be a budget to tackle climate change issues and projects,” he said.

Mr. Sopol said many people were confused that carbon trading was being practiced when it was not. Instead there existed a voluntary market where two forest projects had been chosen as trial projects. “We have many landowners coming to our office to inquire and we tell them there is no funding until the mechanisms are worked out,” Mr. Sopol said.

He said a draft Climate Change Bill is expected to go before Parliament in November.