Financing to Promote Participation in Voluntary Carbon Markets
This initiative successfully lobbied the Bulgarian government to pass laws allowing government and
business to participate in voluntary carbon markets. The project “Financing for Promoting
Access to Voluntary Carbon Markets” has also developed an interactive website that is
mobilizing funding for carbon reduction projects. It is also launching an energy-efficiency and
emissions-reduction demonstration project with a major Bulgarian paper and pulp company.
- Successfully lobbied to change Bulgarian legislation allowing participation in voluntary carbon
- 7,000 people have registered at greenhero.com
- At least 800,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent saved over 10 years at a Sviloza paper and
Although Bulgaria, a European Union country, has been part of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme
(EUETS) since 2005, it was not participating in trading schemes on voluntary carbon markets. EUETS
participation relies mostly on emissions reductions based on restructuring the Bulgarian economy since the
fall of the Iron Curtain. In doing so, it failed to encourage additional investments in carbon emissions
In addition, not all types of technologies, activities, and products are eligible under EUETS. The current
economic crisis has further reduced the ability of companies to invest in emissions reductions, and the
low-carbon technologies market has shrunk.
First, the project lobbied the Bulgarian government and parliament to change national policy, allowing
government agencies and private companies to participate in voluntary carbon markets. Second, the project
built the interactive website greenhero.com
to mobilize funding from individuals, companies, and organizations for carbon emissions reduction projects
at the community level. Finally, the initiative launched a demonstration project with Sviloza, a large
Bulgarian pulp and paper company, to improve its energy efficiency and reduce emissions by a minimum of
800,000 tons of carbon equivalent over 10 years, or 3,000,000 tons over 21 years (depending on which carbon
credit contract ends up getting signed). Sviloza can now get certified, and start participating in
voluntary carbon markets – setting an example for other Bulgarian businesses.
Helping the planet
Since Bulgarian agencies and companies are now able to participate in voluntary carbon markets, the project
is addressing the problem of climate change by contributing to carbon emission reductions. Building the
capacity of Bulgarian actors to participate in voluntary carbon markets is also improving access to
renewable energies, and contributing to sustainable use of natural resources.
The demonstration project reduces energy use and helps create green jobs, while the website allows public
participation in environmental projects – such as the TrashBack recycling effort, which was fully
funded through greenheros.com.
Addressing the problem of climate change is helping to improve the quality of life for all who inhabit
planet Earth. The Bulgarian pulp and paper company Sviloza, featured in the carbon-reductions demonstration
project, is expected to be a reliable employer, which will benefit the community of Svishtov where it is
based. The greenheros.com website is allowing people to support numerous projects that benefit the
communities where they are based.
The policy change implemented at the national level in Bulgaria shows how the project can grow, as it
provides long-term incentives to all large greenhouse gas emitters to voluntarily invest in low-carbon
alternatives. Companies that verify and certify themselves for trading credits on voluntary markets, as
Sviloza has, generate additional income, which allows them to invest in new low-carbon technologies,
creating a positive feedback loop for the market.
Images owned by the activity partners, all rights reserved.