Moving towards and beyond carbon neutrality: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading for the Electronics Industry

Raoux, Sebastien
(Transcarbon International Corporation)

Climate change has become one of the most challenging problems facing humanity in the 21st century. The electronics industry can play a key role in being part of the solution by designing energy-efficient products, and implementing manufacturing processes with reduced carbon footprints. In the last ten years, the industry has made great progress in reducing the climate impact of manufacturing integrated circuits, in particular through reduction of fluorinated compounds (FCs) emissions, which are used for Etch and CVD chamber cleaning processes. In the first part of this presentation, we review the industry’s progress over the last decade in implementing manufacturing processes with lower carbon footprint. We identify the various sources of direct and indirect emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in a typical Fab, and provide an overview of the technical solutions available for climate impact reduction. After providing a summary of the current state of affairs regarding FC emissions, we turn to the next decade and examine potential opportunities to further reduce the carbon footprint of Fabs, in particular through emissions trading schemes. Greenhouse gases emissions trading mechanisms are key components of nearly all legal regimes addressing climate change. The implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, the European Trading Scheme (ETS) and other legally-binding or voluntary agreements to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases has led to the development of a vibrant GHG emissions trading market, which is estimated to have reached 62 to 70 billion US$ in 2007. The electronics industry can participate in -and benefit from- this market, by reducing GHGs emissions from Fabs and sell carbon credits to other industries (where the cost-per-ton-CO2-equivalent-saved is higher). Through such mechanism, Fabs can fund implementation of emissions reduction technologies, generate additional revenues and contribute to tackling climate change. In the last part of the presentation, we will review the requirements for emissions trading, in particular related to the additionality of projects geared at reducing emissions of fluorinated compounds. Additionality is one the main requirements for participating in emission trading projects, requiring project proponents to demonstrate that the emission reduction would not have occurred in the absence of the project, under a business-as-usual scenario. After examining the additionality of various existing technical solutions, we review the barriers to implementation, and present the principles of the first proposed emissions trading methodology developed specifically for the electronics industry (SF6 abatement from LCD panels manufacturing).

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