LONDON, June 12 International certification firm
SGS said it will no longer provide auditing services for clean
energy projects in developing countries seeking to earn carbon
credits, citing concerns over costs and falling demand.
Geneva-headquartered SGS, the second major auditor to pull
out of the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
this year, will also surrender its accreditation under the
carbon trading programme, it said in a release on its website
dated June 10.
"SGS' decision reflects the continuing contraction in the
CDM market and its continuing concerns with the costs and risks
associated with the CDM accreditation process," it said.
"SGS thanks all its clients for their custom over the last
10 years and regrets that the current state of the carbon market
prevents our continued involvement."
The CDM, established under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol treaty,
helps fund climate change mitigation efforts in poor countries
while generating carbon offsets for investors.
But low ambition from governments to cut their greenhouse
gas emissions has led to a collapse in demand for CDM offsets,
causing prices to crash by 99 percent to around 0.12 euro each
and prompting others to scale back activities in the sector.
The announcement from SGS comes just two months after it
said it was moving its UK-based CDM auditing business to India
in an attempt to cut costs.
The firm this week said those plans are no longer viable.
In February, Norway-based DNV GL - previously the largest
CDM project auditor - shut its validation and verification
business after plummeting offset prices caused investment in the
programme to dry up.
"Further deterioration of the CDM infrastructure will
consequently accelerate market fragmentation, sharply increase
future mitigation costs and reduce the prospects of building a
coherent and efficient global carbon market," said lobby group
the Project Developer Forum.
SGS, which provides technical advice and training to
industries including oil and gas, agriculture and mining, said
it will continue to participate in combating climate change by
focusing on emissions trading schemes and initiatives such as
water management and measuring corporate carbon footprints.
(Reporting by Michael Szabo; Editing by)