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Landbank, WB offer carbon credit scheme 

MANILA, Philippines - With the first ever landfill gas Program of Activities (PoA) registered on Oct. 20, cities in the Philippines now have a significant financial incentive to convert garbage dumps into sanitary landfills to better manage waste disposal while contributing to the fight against climate change.

The Land Bank of the Philippines worked with the World Bank to develop the Methane Recovery from Waste PoA. The program provides local governments, communities and investors the opportunity to generate carbon credits for complying with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

The law calls for phasing out open dump sites and converting them into sanitary landfills that reduce the risks of fire, water contamination, and methane emissions.

“Managing garbage is a serious challenge in many towns and cities in the Philippines, especially in Metro Manila. We are thrilled that carbon finance can be used as an instrument to better manage waste, an important step towards a clean and low emissions development for the metropolis,” said World Bank country director Motoo Konishi.

The PoA will include a series of individual projects that earn carbon credits for each ton of methane captured or avoided. These carbon credits will be sold to carbon funds administered by the World Bank, creating a revenue stream for local governments and project entities.

This is the first landfill gas recovery PoA registered with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is the second PoA developed by Land Bank of the Philippines registered this year.

Landbank chief executive officer and president Gilda Pico said the PoA for landfills is a huge breakthrough for local governments and the country as a whole.

She explained that under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, the PoA allows projects that would otherwise be difficult, costly and time-consuming to develop on an individual basis and achieve significant impact.

“We welcome the registration of the PoA with the UNFCCC as it is a major stride towards our pursuit of promoting sustainable development and participatory environmental protection, especially amongst our LGU clients and partners. We are also proud that this is the second PoA developed by Landbank to be registered this year,” said Pico.

Under this PoA, Landbank acts as the financial and technical intermediary, providing the necessary funds for the installation of technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The registration of the first ever landfill PoA, following the registration of their animal waste program earlier this year, places Landbank in a position to transform the waste sector in the Philippines and serve as an example for the entire region,” said Nick Bowden, carbon finance specialist in the World Bank’s Carbon Finance Unit, which has collaborated closely with Landbank for several years.

Only about 70 percent of the more than 8,000 tons of garbage that are produced every day in Metro Manila are actually collected. The rest often winds up in the streets and local rivers, exacerbating floods such as those last July that paralyzed the region. And the waste that is collected is taken to dump sites that often catch fire or contaminate local water supplies. The waste decomposes and produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide and a major cause of climate change.