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COP-10 Delegates - Clean Development Mechanism A Disappointment [View All]

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-09-04 10:27 AM
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COP-10 Delegates - Clean Development Mechanism A Disappointment
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BUENOS AIRES, Dec 9 (IPS) - In 1997, when the developing South agreed to a market incentive for industrialised nations that would allow them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through development projects in poor countries, the expected result was investment in clean technologies. So far, however, the results have fallen far short of expectations.

Ral Estrada, director of environmental affairs in Argentina's Foreign Ministry and the head of the Argentine delegation at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-10), currently underway in Buenos Aires, admitted on Wednesday that the projects being submitted to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) do little to promote renewable sources of energy and involve minimal technology transfer. "This was not what we had in mind," said Estrada, who presided over the committee that drafted the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. He was addressing the COP-10 plenary session devoted to discussion of the 2003-2004 report from the CDM Executive Board, made up of 10 representatives from different member countries. The results of the report are nothing less than disappointing.


Through this mechanism, an industrialised country with a GHG reduction target can invest in a project in a developing country without a target, and claim credit for the emission reduction that the project achieves. The 30 industrialised countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol have accepted the commitment to reduce GHG emissions to levels 5.2 percent lower than in 1990, by a deadline that ranges from 2008 to 2012.


As of now, the only project to be approved by the CDM board is a Brazilian plan to capture methane gas from landfills and use it to fuel a thermoelectric plant that will supply power to a poor suburb of Rio de Janeiro. The initiative is expected to reduce emissions by 12 million tons over the next 21 years. But some environmentalists do not think the project is a model to be emulated. Juan Carlos Villalonga, an energy specialist from the Argentine chapter of the environmental watchdog Greenpeace, told IPS that the Brazilian project, and others being submitted for implementation in developing countries, make an extremely limited contribution in terms of new technology. He explained the challenges facing the CDM using the same "market logic" principles that served as its foundation. "There is a large supply of countries in the South that want to be the recipients of these projects, but not a very high demand for emission reductions," Villalonga explained. One of the main reasons for this is that the United States, which should represent the highest demand for emission reduction, has pulled out of the treaty."

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