New Findings Question the Proper Functioning of the Clean Development Mechanism

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Controversial findings will raise new questions about the future of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), claims Irish-based information website ( As the methodology for the generation of some of the CER carbon credits is being criticised, it will become harder for those in favour of the Kyoto Protocol to advocate the continuation of its mechanisms at the forthcoming climate conference in Durban.



The CDM is one of the most important Kyoto Protocol mechanisms, allowing developed countries to meet their greenhouse gas emission targets through investing in emission reduction projects in developing countries.

Recently, the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) released data from a study showing certain flaws in the CDM carbon crediting rules, which could lead to the generation of a substantial amount of unjustified carbon offsets., a carbon investment website for the Irish market, operated by green investments media Dezz, discusses the study findings in view of the COP 17 in South Africa later in November 2011.

The CDM is one of the most important Kyoto Protocol mechanisms, allowing developed countries to meet their greenhouse gas emission targets through investing in emission reduction projects in developing countries. The CDM operates on the basis of different principles, as focuses on the concept of additionality, which has been questioned in the SEI study. According to the study findings, it is likely that higher-efficiency coal plants are receiving CER carbon credits for projects which might not be additional, as required by the Kyoto Protocol. also looks into the other major issue detected by the SEI study, namely one of the CDM methodologies, also related to fossil fuel power plants. The methodology problems, which have been declared “deep and systematic” by the SEI, are confirmed by a recent report of the UNFCCC Methodology Panel, which also reviews the problematic methodology. The report recommends that the respective methodology is put on hold until the issues are effectively resolved. comments that the possible over-crediting of the projects already registered under the methodology in question might undermine the trust in the functioning of the CDM.

In addition, the website looks into previously detected problems with the CDM, for instance the generation of carbon credits through projects involving the destruction of industrial gases such as trifluoromethane. explains why those CERs might not bring actual net benefits to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere; it also comments on the decision of the European Union and New Zealand to exclude the CERs produced this way from their respective emissions trading systems. discusses that the SEI study findings and the Methodology Panel recommendations might raise serious questions about the future of the CDM, as that will probably be one of the most important topics of discussion in Durban. Furthermore, the website explores how the outcome of the climate conference will influence the state of carbon offset trading, especially considering the low prices recently observed on the carbon market.

Even though it focuses on the CDM flaws, the article is also a reminder that the CDM is an important instrument promoting global action against climate change. The target of maintaining the average temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius in comparison to pre-industrial levels would require commitment on behalf of all parties regardless of whether it is within the CDM framework. Nevertheless, the flaws in the CDM and the methodologies related to the generation of carbon credits should be adequately addressed so that the CDM has a better chance of survival in the approaching post-Kyoto environment.        
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About Dezz
Dezz is a UK-based boutique digital media company providing original and reliable up-to-date information in the area of carbon credit trading and sustainable investments to large investment company decision makers, NGOs and to eco-minded individuals.
Dezz Limited, 843 Finchley Road, London, NW11 8NA
Registered in England and Wales as a Limited Company. Company Number: 07376661


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John Adam
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