Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

International Rivers' CDM Work Gets Gore's Attention

Monday, February 2, 2009
For Immediate Release Former Vice President Al Gore told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at their hearing on climate change on January 28 that the Kyoto Protocol's carbon offsetting scheme, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), required "significant reforms." Gore was head of the US delegation that pushed for the creation of the CDM at the Kyoto talks in 1997. The CDM is by far world's biggest source of carbon offset certificates. Gore made his comment in response to a statement from Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) highlighting the concern that most CDM projects may

Xiaoxi Dam, China

Xiaoxi Dam, Hunan Province, China
Xiaoxi Dam, Hunan Province, China Tina Lea This large dam epitomizes the abuse of carbon offsets and the many flaws in the Kyoto Protocol's offsetting scheme, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). In this case, the dam has evicted from their homes poor farmers in Hunan Province, China, while allowing Germany to burn more coal and still meet its Kyoto commitments. The German power utility RWE, one of the biggest CO2 emitters in Europe, intends to buy CDM credits (or offsets) from the now infamous Xiaoxi Dam on the Zishui River so that it can continue to expand its coal-fired electricity gener

China Dams Reveal Flaws in Climate-Change Weapon

Sunday, January 25, 2009
Originally published in multiple news outlets; reporting by the Associated Press XIAOXI, China - The hydroelectric dam, a low wall of concrete slicing across an old farming valley, is supposed to help a power company in distant Germany contribute to saving the climate - while putting lucrative "carbon credits" into the pockets of Chinese developers. But in the end the new Xiaoxi dam may do nothing to lower global-warming emissions as advertised. And many of the 7,500 people displaced by the project still seethe over losing their homes and farmland. "Nobody asked if we wanted to move," said a

Clean Development Mechanism: Dump It, Don't Expand It

Payal Parekh with Tom Goldtooth and other CJN! panelists
Friday, December 5, 2008
For immediate release. The UN´s Clean Development Mechanism is beyond repair and should be dumped, climate justice campaigners told delegates at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan today.1 "The CDM is a ´lose-lose´ proposition that has become a corrupt and cheap way for the rich North to avoid making real emission reductions. CDM projects in the South generate windfalls for major polluters in the North, providing transnational corporations and governments a way to buy their way out the responsibility to make their own emissions cuts" says Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the I

German Utility RWE Meets Climate Targets by Supporting Forced Evictions in China

Thursday, December 4, 2008
Report shows Germany failing to enforce EU law on hydro carbon creditsA report released today reveals that German power utility, RWE, plans to buy carbon credits from a dam in China that fails to meet World Commission on Dams (WCD) guidelines, a breach of EU law. RWE, one of the biggest CO2 emitters in Europe, is buying the credits to avoid having to reduce emissions from its coal plants in Germany. The report is based on a field visit by International Rivers' consultant Tina Lea, a Chinese-speaking researcher.* It finds that 7,500 people were forcibly evicted to make way for the Xiaoxi Dam, t

UN Climate Conference: NGOs Demand an End to Loopholes

Thursday, November 27, 2008
Joint Press ReleaseForum Umwelt und Entwicklung (Environment and Development) and International RiversBerlin The UN climate conference begins on December 1st in Poznan to set the course for the post-2012 climate agreement. International Rivers and the Forum Umwelt & Entwicklung demand meaningful emission reduction goals, as well as corrections to the Kyoto Protocol from decision-makers. One of the most serious loopholes is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Power plant operators in industrialized countries can offset their emissions with questionable projects in developing countries. M

UN Suspends Clean Energy Project Auditor

Monday, December 1, 2008
Originally published in Reuters LONDON (Reuters) - The U.N. climate change body has suspended one of the largest auditors of clean energy projects under Kyoto Protocol, a move highlighting problems long aired by critics of the climate pact's greenhouse gas trading scheme. Norway's DNV had their accreditation as project auditors suspended late last week for five "non-conformities" relating to its practices, the U.N. said after performing a spot check of the company's operations in early November. The suspension means DNV cannot file for project registration or request credits under the Clean De

Xiaoxi and Xiaogushan CDM Hydropower Projects: Report from a Field Trip

Thursday, November 27, 2008
EU legislation known as the Linking Directive states that CDM credits from hydropower projects larger than 20MW can only be used in the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) if the projects comply with the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams (WCD). The German government has taken the lead on establishing a process for assessing WCD compliance of CDM hydropower projects. The government requires German companies that intend to buy CDM large hydro credits for use in the ETS to commission a third party to assess WCD compliance. German power utility RWE, one of the biggest CO2

Carbon Market Fundamentalism

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Originally published in the Multinational Monitor The waste-pickers of Delhi may soon rank among the world's endangered species if carbon markets continue their rise. Now numbering in the tens if not hundreds of thousands, waste-pickers have plied the garbage of Delhi's streets for decades. A disturbing spectacle, often including women and children in their ranks, they nonetheless provide a vital service: recycling. In a country like India, paper, plastic and metals are an increasingly valuable commodity. And for slum-dwellers, this may be their only source of income. And so they join the cows

Rip-Offsets: The Failure of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism

Rip Offsets
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is supposed to catalyze climate-friendly projects in low-income countries by allowing developers to generate revenue by selling "carbon credits" or "offsets." The offset buyers - industrialized country companies and governments - use the credits to show compliance with Kyoto Protocol-mandated emissions reductions. Because of the CDM's structural flaws and cheating by project developers, billions of dollars worth of credits are being sold by projects that never needed assistance from the CDM to be built. In the short-term the CDM must be radically improved;


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