Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Global bankers slam "expensive and inefficient" CDM

Business Green: The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is not fit for purpose and must be reformed if global emissions reduction targets are to be met, according to senior banking leaders gathered at this week's World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

Caio Koch Weser, vice chairman of Deutsche Bank group and a former German minister, led the criticism of the UN-backed carbon trading scheme, which allows businesses and governments in developed countries to invest in emissions reduction schemes in the developing world in return for carbon credits, arguing that the market was proving too inefficient.

"Financing abatement in the developing world is key and the CDM is well established to do that but it is very expensive and inefficient," he said. "One of the key issues at Copenhagen this year will be reforming the CDM into a scaled-up programmatic approach." This means that instead of a single project-by-project approach to gaining UN accreditation, projects are grouped into programmes of work that could be registered at the same time, streamlining the accreditation process and allowing them to issue and sell UN-approved certified emission reduction (CERs) credits far quicker.

…Green groups have argued that the UN is already guilty of granting accreditation to projects that fail to deliver promised emission cuts and fear that any attempts to streamline the accreditation process would make it easier for ineffective projects to issue carbon credits.

But those calling for reform counter that there is an urgent need to increase the scale of the CDM market and this can only be done through an improved accreditation process. So far the scheme has generated about 135 million tonnes of CO2 reduction – a figure experts calculate must rise to four gigatonnes if the world is to aim for a 450ppm concentration of CO2….

The distribution of certified emissions reductions under the Clean Development Mechanism, broken out by country by Masterthomas (no relation)