Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

The Global CDM Hydro Hall of Shame

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is meant to catalyze climate-friendly and sustainable projects in low-income countries. Instead, it's provided massive subsidies to hydropower developers while increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Through deception and abuse of the system, at least two-thirds of all CDM projects are likely not additional, and more are slipping in each year. In an attempt to cure its ills during the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the CDM Executive Board has initiated a year-long policy dialogue. Having failed to reach any decisions about reform at Durb

Comments to CF Carbon Fund II Ltd Regarding the Kamchay Hydropower Project (Cambodia)

Friday, January 20, 2012
We request that the Kamchay Hydropower Project in Cambodia, which applied for validation in the fall of 2008 and has now reapplied, not be validated and allowed to apply for CDM credits, because it is not an additional project, was carried out in a poor manner and carries adverse environmental and social impacts.  To review International Rivers’ concerns regarding the Kamchay Dam and its previous application for carbon credits, submitted to SGS (Thailand) Limited on 11 March 2010, please see “Letter to SGS Re Kamchay Hydroelectric BOT Project (Cambodia).” Summary of ConcernsThe projec

International Rivers Input to the CDM Policy Dialogue

Monday, January 16, 2012
International Rivers welcomes the opportunity to respond to the CDM Executive Board's call for public inputs on the CDM policy dialogue. Our response suggests improvements to various aspects of the CDM pipeline, process and implementation. Discussions about the future of the flexible mechanisms should be firmly grounded in an analysis of their performance so far. The CDM has largely failed to meet its dual objectives of supporting cost-effective climate change mitigation in Annex 1 countries and sustainable development in non-Annex I countries. In the second commitment period, the CDM

Civil Society Letter Regarding the Registration of the Bujagali Hydropower Project

Friday, January 6, 2012
CDM Executive Board UNFCCC Secretariat Martin Luther King Strasse 8 P.O. Box 260124 D-53153 Germany Subject: Unsolicited letter regarding the registration of the Bujagali Hydropower Project Dear Mr. Hession, We are writing to express our serious concerns over the registration of Project 4217: Bujagali Hydropower Project. We understand that the deadline for requesting review was 29 December 2011. Through a miscommunication we were not able to submit our letter in time. However, we trust that you will take our concerns seriously and initiate a review as soon as possible. Registration was

Comments on the Marañon Hydroelectric Project (Peru)

Friday, December 23, 2011
Submitted to the Colombian Institute for Technical Standards and CertificationAdditionality There are several important inaccuracies in the investment analysis that must be corrected and verified. The financial benefits of the project to the developer are greater than what is included in the PDD: First, tariffs in Peru are expected to increase over time. A flat tariff of US$ 0.038 per kWh would not accurately reflect the developer's expected revenues. For example, auctions were held this year for future hydropower projects, which were awarded contracts with energy tariffs between US$ 0.04

Crunching the Hydro Numbers: 2011 Second Half CDM Update

EU demonstration
EU demonstration Durban is over, the delegates have all either gone home or are enjoying the sunny South African weather, and serious actions to curb rising emissions have again been shunted down the road. (You can read more about the results at Durban on our colleague Payal Parekh's blog.) However, progress is being made on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – albeit slowly – to address some of its most serious flaws, including how to deal with non-additional, "hot air" projects in the world's largest emissions trading scheme, the European Emis

Will Holland Fuel Carbon-Credit Dam Scam?

Bujagali Falls
Bujagali Falls Like most rich nations, the Netherlands has seen its “carbon footprint” rise in recent decades. In an effort to shrink that footprint, the Dutch government has been purchasing “carbon credits” through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The Netherlands now proposes to purchase “offsets” from the Bujagali Dam on the Nile River in Uganda. The CDM board will decide whether to register Bujagali for credits on Dec. 29.   The CDM is supposed to catalyze climate-friendly projects in low-income countries by allowing developers to sell carbon credits to clean-energy

Study Adds Urgency to Reform Offsetting Scheme in Durban

Increase of credits from large hydro expected by 2020
Increase of credits from large hydro expected by 2020 A new study released in time for the climate negotiations in Durban confirms that over 20% of all carbon credits under the UN's offsetting scheme, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), could come from business-as-usual large hydropower projects. This is not surprising considering that hydropower is heavily supported and subsidized in many countries, especially in China and India, who host a combined 78% of all the registered hydropower projects in the CDM. Large hydro projects are projected to generate 2 billion carbon credits by

Hydropower in the CDM: Examining Additionality and Criteria for Sustainability

Haya and Payal, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Haya and Payal, 2011 A study released by the University of California at Berkeley shows that large hydro projects under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) do not comply with the mechanism’s essential additionality requirements because they are being built regardless of the climate financing. CDM carbon credits from such business-as-usual projects increase global emissions because they can be bought by industialised countries to meet climate targets. The study shows that these projects are not being built because of CDM support but because of non-financial or strategic decisions

NGO Letter to Environment Ministers on COP 17

Monday, November 28, 2011
Dear Ministers, We, more than hundred civil society organisations from 35 countries across all continents, call on Parties to acknowledge the urgency with which climate change needs to be addressed and to agree to ambitious and immediate emissions reduction targets that are in line with the Cancun Agreement to prevent global warming beyond two degrees Celsius. Kyoto Protocol parties must commit to a second commitment period at Durban. The legal and governance structure of the Kyoto Protocol is crucial to ensuring that mitigation commitments are legally binding and have environmental integri


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