UNEP, UNOPS Partner to Purchase Carbon Offsets

5 April 2013: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has requested the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to buy 50,000 certificates of emission reduction (CERs), to cover UNEP's emissions for 2010-2013. UNOPS purchased almost 14,000 additional certificates to offset its global activities in 2011. These purchases are line with the 2007 UN directive for UN agencies to move towards climate neutrality.

The procurement volumed were combined by UNOPS to purchase the CERs from First Climate, a Swiss company, at a reduced price. The CERs come from a landfill gas management project in Colombia, and the installation of a wind farm in India.

UNEP reports that the Colombian project involves the installation of a controlled methane capture and flaring system at the Curva de Rodas and La Pradera landfills, in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The project has additional sustainable development benefits, including improved sanitary conditions and decreased risk of landslides due to reduced internal pressure in the landfill.

Benefits of the Indian wind generation project include job creation, improvements to the road network, increased electricity availability, and waste reduction. UNEP has been climate neutral since 2008. [UNEP Press Release] [Greening the Blue Press Release]