New study reveals that the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is not working

A new study of the German research group Öko-Institut found that a mere 2 per cent of projects under the clean development mechanism (CDM) had a high probability to lead to additional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The poor performance of the CDM reflects badly on a central pillar of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which was thought to give poor countries access to new technologies and financial means.

According to article 12 (2) of the Kyoto Protocol  the clean development mechanism allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets, according to the United Nations

However, the new study of the Öko-Institut found that the lion`s share of the 5200 projects that are currently certified under the CDM are renewable energy projects, which would have been realized regardless of the additional financial incentive provided by the CDM. According to the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung one of the authors of the study, Martin Cames, said: `many CDM projects effectively benefited the firms involved more than the climate. Moreover, they weakened the European Emissions Trading Scheme as they artificially expanded its budget.´!5399481/

The study comes at a sensitive time, as the UN is currently negotiating a new international trading system for CO2 licences, which needs to be implemented under the Paris Agreement. The findings of the study are not supporting the inlusion of a mechanism similar to CDM in the new scheme.


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