UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe


Coal Mine Methane Project



Methane emissions as a result of coal mining constitute ten percent of the total human-related methane emissions. Methane is a greenhouse gas (GHG) with a radiant forcing about 23 times greater than that of carbon dioxide on a mass basis. In many developed countries these emissions are already captured and used as an alternative energy source. The technology of capturing and converting the emission into an energy source could also be transferred to the areas with significant coal mine methane (CMM) emissions potential. In particular, this project has identified the countries of  Central and South-Eastern European Countries and in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as the ones which have one of the largest coal mine methane emissions in the UNECE region.

The objective of the project is to raise the awareness of the benefits that CMM has in economic, social and environmental terms. A successful CMM project could utilize emissions as an energy source, improve mine safety and air quality in the area and have a positive spill over into the level of local employment and investment. The benefits of reduced level of emissions could also be used in the carbon emissions trading market.


In the past few years the value of carbon emission reductions has resulted in large capital flows into the market for carbon mitigation projects such as CMM projects. Access to funds, however, remains a challenge even though CMM projects are generally viewed as an attractive asset class.


In order to overcome these barriers and realize the benefits CMM projects can deliver, the UNECE aims to support development of three or more financially viable project documents which will be submitted to the investment community. A short summary of the project is available below.



Project Description 



The UNECE together with the support from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).



  • Three or more bankable project documents, which shall be considered by investment funds; 
  • Lessons learned and disseminated to project developers from the Region and elsewhere on how to prepare the most effective bankable project documents for approval by financing organizations; and, 
  • Elaboration of a roadmap for financing additional CMM projects in the region formulated by the end of the project period.


The estimated project duration is from mid 2005 to the end of 2007



The project envisages to cover the area of Central and South-Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), in particular: the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic, and possibly Hungary, Bulgaria and Croatia. .