UN launches web portal to help cut global warming gas emissions

UN launches web portal to help cut global warming gas emissions

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The United Nations today launched a web portal to help implement an essential tool in efforts to reduce global warming gases by facilitating a trading mechanism that allows States which cut emissions below treaty targets to sell their surplus allowances to others who overshoot the mark.

The CDM Bazaar (www.cdmbazaar.net), launched by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), is designed to spur the exchange of information among buyers, sellers and service providers engaged in the Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism (CDM).

Under the CDM, projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries and contribute to sustainable development can earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits. Industrialized countries with a commitment under the Kyoto Protocol buy CERs to cover a portion of their emission reduction commitments under the Protocol.

“The CDM has seen exponential growth in number of projects, with strong interest in developing countries for projects and in developed countries for CERs. The CDM Bazaar will do just what its name suggests – help buyers and sellers, and all those that serve the market, get down to business,” UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer said in Bonn, the Convention’s headquarters.

The 1997 Kyoto Protocol requires 36 industrialized countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions overall by at least 5 per cent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.

The website allows stakeholders in the CDM to post information, such as potential emission reduction projects looking for financing, CERs available for sale, buyers looking for carbon credits to purchase, services available, carbon market related events, and employment opportunities.

“The CDM is playing an important role in meeting the climate change challenge,” UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said. “However, if the benefits are to be more widely shared, especially in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa, more efforts need to be put into building developing-country capacity.

“The CDM Bazaar is therefore a very welcome new networking initiative with the potential to complement and perhaps broaden the impacts of the physical carbon fairs and Expos now emerging in parts of the world.”

By posting on the CDM Bazaar the CERs they have for sale, developing-country CDM project proponents can expect competitive offers from carbon credit buyers. But it is not meant to be a trading platform for CERs, but rather an information exchange platform designed to create opportunities for CER buyers and sellers and CDM service providers.

With 191 Parties, the UNFCCC has near universal membership. It is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which has to date 175 member Parties but has not been ratified by the United States, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas emission concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.