As early as 2025, a group of Integrated Oil Companies (IOC) will start oil production in the Lake Albert region of Uganda. When this occurs, roughly 900,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) in GHGs will be released into the atmosphere YEARLY for the next 30 years. However, the GHG emissions don’t just start with oil production – they start with project construction, which has already begun and will continue to ramp up in 2021, with an estimated 130,000 tCO2e of GHG emissions from 2021 until production startup in 2025.
For Paris 2015, Uganda made National Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the climate accord to reduce GHG emissions by 22% compared to the “Business as Usual” case, or 17.0 million tCO2e by 2030. The Lake Albert Project will likely add around 5.5 million tCO2e by 2030 and will continue to release large amounts of GHGs, countering the Ugandan NDCs, until beyond 2050.
EnPath will help the IOC group identify suitable REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) projects that will offset these very large GHG emissions, while working with the local communities to empower them through participation in the projects and revenue sharing.
Very few offset project opportunities exist in Uganda. Therefore, to offset these very large GHG emissions, the IOC group will have to use projects outside of Uganda to offset their GHG emissions. Offsetting outside of Uganda won’t help Uganda with the Paris NDCs, as offset should occur in the country where the GHGs are emitted.
Additionally, trees are routinely felled to make way for livestock grazing and to create charcoal for cooking. Investing in more efficient cooking methods through improved cookstoves is also being explored.
Finally, while the government framework for such projects is sufficient for the logistics of these types of projects, carbon credit verification hasn’t been completed in Uganda and will be a challenge as it requires time for analysis and verification.
EnPath is identifying suitable nature based solutions (NBS) and other forest projects in Uganda. These projects could contribute as much as 50,000 - 500,000 tCO2e reductions per year, which will be enough to offset some of the project GHG emissions.
GHG emissions in construction phase before production starts:~520,000 tCO2e
Average GHG emissions during production: 900,000 tCO2e per year for an estimated 30 years
Uganda “Business as Usual” forecast for total GHG emissions in 2030: 77.3 million tCO2e per year
Uganda’s 2015 Paris Agreement NDC for GHG emissions for 2030: 60.3 million tCO2e per year