Friday, November 03, 2006

CLIMATE CHANGE: Making Cash out of Methane

The Asian Development Bank has joined the international Methane to Markets Partnership. The Philippines based organization has extensive experience with clean energy projects, including methane recovery and use at landfills and coal mines. ADB is the second multilateral development bank to join the Methane to Markets Partnership after the World Bank, and its participation will increase our ability to mitigate global climate change. Most recently, ADB provided a $117 million loan to the Jincheng Anthracite Coal Group in Shanxi Province, China which will be the world's largest power plant fueled by coal mine methane (Caterpiller Corp. was awarded a huge contract).

Reducing methane emissions provides immediate environmental and energy benefits. Methane is a greenhouse gas that is over 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide at capturing heat in the atmosphere. Because methane is also the primary component of natural gas, capturing and using methane as a clean fuel also provides immediate economic and energy security benefits.

What does this mean to you? It will affect the US economy in four sectors: agriculture, coal mines, landfills and oil and gas. Private firms, banks, NGOs and any interested in using methane as an alternative fuel will be cashing in. The Bush Administration committed $53 million to this initiative over the next five years, but with ADB's backing much more work will be accomplished.

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