Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

Fears Over North Korean Hydro to Finance Nuclear Weapons

A poster of Kim Jong-il in front of a dam.
A poster of Kim Jong-il in front of a dam. Alain Nogues/Corbis, The Guardian What do you do if you're Kim Jong-il, beloved leader of North Korea, and you're facing sanctions because of your nuclear weapons program? Jump on the carbon offset bandwagon of course! This week, Reuters reported that North Korea is trying to earn some much-needed foreign currency by selling carbon offsets from three hydropower projects through the UN's Clean Development Mechanism. However, many experts doubt that the beloved leader can drum up enough interest from European countries, especially with

5,000 Indigenous Peoples Ignored In Grab for Carbon Credits

A community leader speaks to his people and visiting NGO representatives about Barro Blanco project
A community leader speaks to his people and visiting NGO representatives about Barro Blanco project ASAMCHI As far back as the 1970s, civil society groups and the Ngobe indigenous people have been fighting to protect the Tabasara River and the lands belonging to them from destructive dam projects. The most recent such project is the 29 MW Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Project in western Panama. In late 2010, groups from across Panama and Europe were successful in prompting an investigation by the European Investment Bank (EIB) into human rights abuses, which forced the dam developer, Generatin

Letter to the CDM Executive Board Regarding the Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Project

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
To the CDM Executive Board Martin Luther King Strasse 8 P. O. Box 260124 D-53153 Re: CDM Project Application #3237: Barro Blanco Hydroelectric Project. February 7, 2011 Dear Chair of the CDM Executive Board: We are writing to you on behalf of the April 10 Movement for the Defense of the Tabasara River (M-10), Alianza para la Conservacion y el Desarrollo (ACD), Asociacion Ambientalista de Chiriqui (ASAMCHI), International Rivers, the Counter Balance coalition, and CDM Watch to express our serious concerns about the proposed CDM project involving Generadora del Istmo, S. A. (GENISA) in the Tabas

When Environmental Issues Collide: Climate Change and the Shifting Political Ecology of Hydroelectric Power

Robert Fletcher, Assistant Professor at the Department of Environment, Peace, and Security at the University for Peace in Costa Rica, explores the conflicts between climate change and the increased funding for hydropower projects in the name of sustainable development, with a particular focus on the Pacuare River in Costa Rica. Read his article in the latest Peace & Conflict Review.

Comments on the La Yesca Large Hydroelectric Dam (Mexico)

Friday, January 21, 2011
Submitted to Spanish Association for Standardisation and CertificationLa Yesca is a business-as-usual dam project that has already secured almost a billion dollars in project financing, is nearing the final stages of construction, and in no way requires – and has never been dependent upon – CDM income to be completed. It is therefore non-additional. It should not be validated for the CDM. The project developer, the public utility CFE, has clearly long been aware of the possibility of obtaining CDM income for La Yesca and its other low carbon projects. As the PDD states, this potential inco

Crunching the Hydro Numbers 2010: Fourth Quarter CDM Update

Fig. 1: Projects at Validation by Quarter
Due to the exuberant craziness that was Rivers for Life 3 , we skipped the Third Quarter CDM update and went straight to the Fourth Quarter. To read about which projects have been "naughty or nice" (well, mostly naughty and all worthy of a large lump of coal this holiday season), see our CDM Comments page. Update: The number of hydro projects that entered the CDM pipeline dropped significantly after the second quarter (See Figs. 1 and 2). The percent of registered projects that were involved in the review process (which includes projects that require corrections) has been growi

Cancun and the Future of Offsetting

Get Out of Jail Free
Get Out of Jail Free In the wee hours of Saturday morning in Cancun at the UN Climate Conference, delegates managed to agree to a set of decisions. They are not enough to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but they do allow negotiations to continue for another year under the auspices of the multilateral, consensus-based process of the UN. Unfortunately the current pledges contained in the negotiating text are not in line with what the science demands – an analysis published by the UN Environment Program suggests that temperature could rise by as much as 4 degrees Celsius – which mea

Comments to SASC on the El Quimbo Hydroelectric Project (Colombia)

Saturday, November 27, 2010
International Rivers Comments to the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification (SASC) on the CDM Project Design Document for El Quimbo Hydroelectric ProjectThe El Quimbo Hydroelectric Project in Huila, Colombia on the Magdalena River should not be registered as a CDM project, as it is clearly not additional and has negative social and environmental impacts. The project developer tries to use the benchmark, barrier, and common practice analysis to show that the project is additional. In all three cases the arguments presented are full of holes. As shown by new research from the

Investigative Report Exposes Fraudulent CDM Hydropower Project in China

Thursday, November 25, 2010
Investigative Report Exposes Forced Evictions and Fraudulent Claims at Chinese CDM Hydropower Project A field visit by Germany's GEO Magazine finds that the Taijiang Yanzhai Hydropower Project located in Guizhou province, China, does not deserve to receive carbon credits through the UN's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). GEO Magazine found that the project does not result in real greenhouse gas emission reductions and also violates the rights of the local population. Local dam-affected farmers assert that they were forcibly evicted from their homes. The Project Design Document (PDD)

The Heat is on the CDM in Cancun

"Human Hurricane" by in Mexico City
The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, MexicoNovember 29 - December 10, 2010 "Human Hurricane" by in Mexico City Photographer: Ricardo Villarreal T./Artist: Pablo Caballero. For the next two weeks, 192 nations are meeting in Cancun to discuss how best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. Unfortunately, not much progress is expected. The big polluters, in particular the developed countries that have historically emitted the bulk of greenhouse gases, are not willing to reduce emissions by anything like the levels that the science demands. An


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