Vanuatu Clean Development Mechanism & Climate Mitigation Opportunities

Climate Change and CDM in Vanuatu

Vanuatu is among the countries in the Pacific region that are most vulnerable to the risks of climate change, climate variability and sea level rise. The livelihood of people and economy are inter-woven, shaped and driven by climate sensitive sectors. The effect of climate and sea level change are already very real and pose a tangible threat to the future socio-economic well-being of Vanuatu.
Climate change is likely to impact on all sectors that are pertinent to the sustainable development of Vanuatu. As a Least Developed Country (LDC), the country will be severely constrained financially and in terms of human and institutional capacity, to meet the challenges of this additional stress. For the people of Vanuatu, their livelihood and social structure are inextricably linked to the natural environment and its resource base. Any perturbations to this availability of natural resources will have a direct bearing on the poverty levels and the very survival of the people. Changes to the traditional social system, coupled with any decrease in food security and water availability, could lead to deterioration of social systems and law and order.
Overall, the country is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters. According to the Commonwealth Vulnerability Index, Vanuatu ranks as the world’s most vulnerable country out of 111 developing countries assessed. Due to this high vulnerability, Vanuatu is still accorded UN-listed least developed country (LDC) status despite a per capita GDP above the LDC threshold.
Main sectors for GHG emissions
The Vanuatu assessment of GHG emissions employs IPCC 1996 guidelines and the relevant OECD and IEA guidelines. In all cases the IPCC guidelines default emission factors and conversion coefficients are used.
The National Greenhouse Gas inventory focuses on energy, transport, agriculture, land-use and forestry sectors. This decision reflects the small volume of solvent and other product use in Vanuatu; the small size of Vanuatu’s industrial sector; the lack of information about GHG generation form these sectors; unreliable reporting formats; the lack of previous work to characterise waste generation; and the relative quantity of GHG emitted by various sectors and the global warming potential of gases produced.
Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases
The following sectors are considered strategic to GHG reduction in Vanuatu: Power Generation through Renewable Resources: Vanuatu is well endowed with renewable energy sources such as hydro, solar, biomass, wind, and coconut bio-fuel and geothermal. These resources offer considerable potential to provide Vanuatu with a diverse energy supply sources and reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation in transport, lighting, buildings, industries and supply side energy efficiency: Energy efficiency is an area where Vanuatu can make immediate, low-cost emissions reductions.
Solid Waste Management: There is no waterborne sewerage system in any part of Vanuatu including main urban areas. In urban areas the majority of households use latrines that flush to septic tanks. Almost 50% of rural households have a pit latrine, many of which are open pits. In the urban areas the proximity of unhygienic sanitation facilities to both formal and informal water sources is a significant concern. Sludge collection and disposal, for all Efate Island is done by commercial operators. The collected sludge is transported by tankers and discharged into a pit within Bouffa sanitary landfill to the east of Port Vila.
Potential mitigation opportunities exist through avoiding methane emissions by anaerobic decomposition of sludge through methane capture and utilization.
Biofuel usage in Transport: Vanuatu is heavily dependent on petroleum fuels for all its transportation needs. Government of Vanuatu under National Energy Policy aims to promote and encourage research, development and sustainable use of biofuels in transportation.
Use of renewable energy sources for rural electrification: Under Vanuatu National Energy Policy Framework goal for rural electrification is provision of electricity to 20% of the rural population by year 2017.
Forestry: Forests are converted to agricultural land due to the need for small-scale subsistence farming, or for cattle grazing as a response to the international demand for Vanuatu's high- quality beef. Infrastructure and tourism development as well as large scale agriculture along the coastlines force the former occupants to move inland and convert more forests for the livelihoods.
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in Vanuatu
Vanuatu is classified as a non-Annex I country under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The country has ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. The Republic of Vanuatu has appointed a Designated National Authority (DNA) to fulfil its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol, thereby supporting the implementation of investment projects in Vanuatu under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) that will lead to the reduction of greenhouse gases regulated by the Kyoto Protocol.
The DNA is proposed to be established in the Vanuatu Meteorological & Geo Hazards Department, with the National Advisory Committee on Climate Change (NACCC), an interdepartmental committee made up of senior officers from across government and mandated by the Council of Ministers, Government of Vanuatu as overseeing body to issue binding recommendations for the DNA when answering requests for issuing of Letters of No Objection (LNO) or Letter of Approval (LOA).
The DNA Operational Guideline has been endorsed by the NACCC and is currently awaiting approval by Council of Ministers, which is expected to be completed in June 2012. Contact details for the Vanuatu DNA is on the back-cover of this booklet.