New UN-backed emissions reduction scheme helps poorer nations use clean energy

6 March 2012

Rural households in developing countries will soon be able to swap kerosene lamps and diesel generators for clean renewable energy thanks to a financial incentive provided under the emissions reduction mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), it was reported today.

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and an emissions baseline and monitoring methodology approved by the CDM executive board will enable registered projects to earn saleable credits when they reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to sustainable development, the Convention’s Secretariat said in a press release.

The CDM allows emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide. These CERs can be traded and sold, and used by industrialized countries to a meet a part of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol – an addition to the UNFCCC that contains legally binding measures to reduce emissions.

Under the new CDM arrangement for clean rural electrification, each project must use an approved methodology to determine existing, pre-project emissions and monitor ongoing emissions once the project is up and running.

“This is what the CDM is all about – reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to sustainable development,” said CDM Executive Board Chair Maosheng Duan at the close of the Board’s 66th meeting.

“It brings market forces to bear on two of the world’s most pressing challenges, climate change and development.”

The new methodology can be used by projects that install renewable electricity generation technologies, like solar electric panels, in communities with no access to electricity, as long as 75 per cent of the consumers are households.

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