UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre goes carbon neutral
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – 20 December 2011– With the purchase of 650 tons of carbon credits paid for from savings from rooftop solar panels, the UNDP Regional Centre in Bratislava has met its goal of becoming carbon neutral.
"As UNDP, we advocate a low carbon economy throughout Eastern Europe and CIS,” said Jens Wandel, UNDP Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS, and Director of UNDP’s Bratislava Regional Centre.
"But we understand that it is not enough to advocate for sustainable and low-carbon development – we also have to also practice what we preach.”
Results of annual inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG)emissions for 2010 showed that the total volume of emissions for the regional centre was 623.4 tons of carbon dioxide – with air travel as the biggest source of emissions (80 percent).
In order to fully offset the Bratislava Regional Centre’s 2010 GHG emissions, UNDP purchased 650 tons of carbon dioxide premium quality certified emission reductions (CERs) from the Ningxia Yinyi Wind Farm project in the Ningxia province of Northern China. This was funded in full from energy savings and income from the Centre’s rooftop solar panels.
The Centre is also home to the first solar energy station in downtown Bratislava, which became operational in 2009. To date, the solar panels have generated more than 24,000 kilowatts of power, 10,400 euros in income and have prevented 13 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. (See real time energy and cost savings.) Three more UNDP offices in the region are following suit: Armenia, Cyprus and Tajikistan are also installing rooftop solar energy stations.
The Bratislava Regional Centre started its greening efforts in 2004 and now has a Greening and Emission Reduction Strategy for 2011-2013 (pdf). The strategy commits the office to reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact from: travel, office operations, and procurement of goods and services, including climate change safeguards for programmes and projects.
Ningxia Yinyi Wind Farm
Ningxia is home to the first wind-farm in the area using locally produced generators comprised of 33 wind turbines each with a capacity of 1,500 kilowatts. Ningxia is a remote part of China, and this project is a rare example of inward investment in the region. By developing the electricity infrastructure, this project contributes to improvements for the local population. It has created dozens of permanent jobs in the local area. Strong sustainable development benefits of the Ningxia Yinyi Wind Farm project were proved by its Gold Standard certification.
Protecting the environment and investing in a green economy in Europe and the CIS
With financial support from the Global Environmental Facility and other donors, UNDP provides technical assistance worth over $100 million to 25 countries and territories in the region to help design and implement national policies and projects in the area of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transport. Through its Millennium Development Goals Carbon Facility UNDP in Europe and the CIS also helps develop and implement projects to reduce GHG emissions via the carbon market (including joint implementation and clean development mechanisms) in Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
The UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre is home to the first solar energy station in downtown Bratislava – 170 photo voltaic solar panels on the roof of the office help to reduce the Centre’s carbon footprint and provide a model for other organizations to follow.
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