UN-backed programme for clean energy projects passes 1000 milestone

UN-backed programme for clean energy projects passes 1000 milestone

A mechanism under the United Nations-backed Kyoto Protocol that allows industrialized countries to generate credits through investment in emission reduction projects in developing countries reached a milestone today, approving its 1000th clean energy project.

The project in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 34,000 tons annually, according to a news release issued by the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the parent treaty of the Kyoto Protocol.

To be registered with the Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and then earn Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits, projects must pass a rigorous process of approval and independent third-party monitoring designed to ensure that emission reductions claimed by a project are real, verifiable and additional to what would have taken place without the project.

Rajesh Kumar Sethi, Chair of the CDM Executive Board, who signed off on the project at a joint coordination workshop in Bonn, Germany, noted that with 1,000 projects in 49 countries in just two and a half years, the mechanism has shown its potential.

At the same time, “it’s clear that there is still much greater potential that can be realized, while respecting the imperative of ensuring environmental integrity and making the mechanism as simple as possible,” said Mr. Sethi.

The Bonn workshop brought together about 240 representatives of CDM regulatory implementers and national stakeholders who discussed, among other things, registration of CDM projects and issuance of CERs, emissions baseline setting and monitoring methodologies, and accreditation of third-party certifiers.

The CDM has been hailed as one of the Kyoto Protocol’s greatest successes by UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer, who said that it “provided developed countries with a degree of flexibility in how they meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.”