Costa Rican Companies Will Have Policy Changes to Verify Carbon Neutrality in 2022

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    Categorization of direct and indirect emission sources, the declaration of the uncertainties of the sources of emission and removal of Greenhouse Gases (GHG), as well as the GHG inventory, are some of the main changes, said an expert from the TAMA Adv. Company.

    As of May 13th 2022, companies in Costa Rica that seek to verify themselves as carbon neutral will have to meet new requirements. This is because, on that date, Version 2 of the Country Carbon Neutrality Program (PPCN v2) will come into force.

    Jaime Restrepo, CEO and associate consultant of TAMA Adv., Recalled that these changes are currently in a transition stage for organizations to declare the calculation of uncertainties and their respective declaration to opt or maintain the verification of Carbon Neutrality.

    Restrepo explained that the PPCN v2 will take effect on May 13th, 2022. However, not all the requirements will begin to apply on that date. This will be the case because, according to what has been established, several of the new requirements, depending on the type of organization, may begin to apply from 2023 onwards.

    The PPCN is a voluntary mechanism that can be accessed by organizations, public and private companies, communities and event organizers to report GHG inventories. As well as the demonstration of actions to reduce, remove and offset emissions, and the strengthening of decarbonization. The PPCN was developed by the Climate Change Directorate (DCC) of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae).

    According to data from the DCC, more than 200 organizations, 21 municipalities, and 2 districts have joined the program since 2012.

    New PPCN requirements

    For his part, Francisco Campos, consultant for TAMA Adv., Explained that there are several changes announced by the PPCN. For Campos, the main changes are:

    -Recognition system; this has had changes in the requirements that must be met to be Carbon Reduction Plus and Carbon Neutrality Plus

    -Changes in the reference standards INTE B5: 2020 and INTE / ISO 14064-1: 2019

    -Incorporation of SF6 (Sulfur Hexafluoride) into greenhouse gases

    -Modification of concepts

    -New focus on limits, seeking inclusion and expansion in indirect emissions

    -Inclusion of requirements to classify indirect emissions into 5 specific categories

    -Requirements for biogenic carbon and electricity treatment

    -Obligatory nature of the estimation of the uncertainty of the measurements

    These changes should be applied by the organizations currently verified in the coming months, since there is a transitory in development. “Organizations that enter the PPCN today will be able to do so with Version 1 until May 13th, 2022. But they must ensure that they obtain recognition from the DCC before the aforementioned date. The foregoing action requires an intermediate due process, which is external verification. Due to this, the organizations will have to calculate the time of these processes very well”, affirmed Campos.

    Additionally, Restrepo commented that this program generates several benefits for the organizations that join it. Among them, he highlighted the improvement of the corporate image of organizations. In addition to that he generates chains and actions towards interested parties in favor of the development of actions focused on mitigating climate change.

    Also, organizations are able to take advantage of green loans from financial entities at preferential rates, as well as greater participation in environmental projects financed almost entirely by foreign and even national organizations, among others. It also allows them to achieve a high potential for attracting customers and consumers.

    Restrepo and Campos added that organizations interested in opting for verification in Carbon Neutrality must first be trained on the subject. Or request a consulting organization that can provide assistance in the implementation of the Carbon Neutral scheme according to the scope and type of program to choose. This point is added in order to be clear about the process to be carried out.

    Then you must choose within the Country Program what type of recognition you want to obtain. Among them are: Carbon Inventory, Carbon Reduction, Carbon Reduction Plus, Carbon Neutral and Carbon Neutral Plus. Having chosen the type of recognition and the correct training or technical advice carried out, the organization may begin with the lifting of the requirements established in the INTE B5 reference standards and the provisions of the Country Program for Carbon Neutrality 2.0 v02. There, other mandatory compliance requirements are established. This version was recently issued in 2021.

    Restrepo added that once this has been done, the organization must carry out a verification process by a Validation and Verification Body (OVV). It is a requirement that the OVV be accredited before the Costa Rican Accreditation Body (ECA).

    “The OVV will leave a report on which the organization must take actions to improve its declaration and manage an action plan when required. Once this process is finished, it is sent to the Climate Change Directorate with an additional document that is required for the organization to receive the respective recognition. This as long as the verification process by the OVV has been satisfactory”, concluded Jaime Restrepo, associate consultant of TAMA Adv. Company.

    Resonance Costa Rica

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