Rip-Offsets: Thanks Joe!

Thanks to Joseph Romm, the unbelievably prolific blogger at the excellent Climate Progress, for the term "Rip Off-sets." We've ripped it off to use as the title for our latest factsheet on the Clean Development Mechanism. We'll be distributing the factsheet to the CDM Executive Board and various other government officials, policy wonks, activists and carbon traders at the upcoming UN climate conference in Poznan, Poland.

The factsheet summarizes the key criticisms we've been levelling at the CDM. One fact that really drives home the point that the CDM's offsets (officially known as Certified Emission Reductions, or CERs) really are a rip-off is that

"as of October 1, 2008, 76% of all registered projects had not only started construction, but were already completed by the time they were approved as eligible to sell credits."

In other words, three-quarters of CDM projects could not possibly have required income from selling CERs to be completed, because they were already completed before they knew they would get CDM approval. And had the CDM Executive Board rejected all these projects it would have kept hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2 out of the air by forcing EU and Japanese polluters to actually cut their emissions rather than just buy rip-offsets which allow them to pretend to the UN that they've cut emissions).