UN to fight for future of carbon offset scheme

03 September 2018 | Mitigation

The UN climate chief has jumped to the defence of a carbon offset scheme, amid calls to scrap it.

This week, at talks in Bangkok, negotiators will consider whether to replace or repurpose the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as part of the Paris Agreement. A final decision is due in December.

In a statement released on Friday, Patricia Espinosa touted the scheme as a success story.

“Work under the CDM shows that actions to mitigate climate change bring many co-benefits in human health, green jobs, poverty reduction and other aspects of development,” said Espinosa. “As we look towards establishing a new sustainable development mechanism under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, we should bear these successes in mind.”

The CDM was set up under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, allowing rich countries to meet some of their carbon-cutting commitments by funding projects in the developing world.

More than 8,100 projects in 111 countries have registered with the CDM. As the CDM held its 100th executive board meeting, it said these had driven $303 billion of investment and 2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions cuts.

However, a 2016 EU-commissioned study found most of those projects would have gone ahead without the CDM, so the carbon savings were not truly additional. For example, hydropower dams make enough money through electricity sales irrespective of the CDM revenue.

In addition to the UN debate, there are ongoing discussions at the International Civil Aviation Organization on potentially using CDM credits to offset airline emissions.



Source: Climate Change News