What Woodland Owners Should Know About Forest Carbon Offsets In The U.S. South
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It allows rich countries to offset some of their carbon emissions by investing in climate-friendly projects, such as hydroelectric power and wind farms, in developing countries. Verified projects earn certified emission reductions CERs — carbon credits that can be bought and sold, and count towards meeting rich nations' carbon-reduction targets.
But a diplomatic cable published last month by the WikiLeaks website reveals that most of the CDM projects in India should not have been certified because they did not reduce emissions beyond those that would have been achieved without foreign investment. Indian officials have apparently known about the problem for at least two years. The revelations imply that millions of tonnes of claimed reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions are mere phantoms, she says, and potentially cast doubt over the principle of carbon trading.
The cable, written on 16 Julywas sent by the US consulate in Mumbai, India, to trading carbon credits us US secretary of state, and summarizes a discussion of the Trading carbon credits us involving representatives of the consulate and the US Government Accountability Office, along with Indian officials and executives of large Indian companies.
At the time, Indian projects had been registered with the CDM's executive board. Today, more than Indian trading carbon credits us have been trading carbon credits us and have gained some million tonnes' worth of carbon credits, a large fraction of the million tonnes issued since see ' Cleaning up '. The cable also describes the UN's validation and registration process as "arbitrary". Indian authorities were also trading carbon credits us in the cable. All CDM projects must be validated nationally, then verified independently by an accredited firm.
But the cable quotes R. Sethi, then chairman of the CDM's executive board and member-secretary of the Indian CDM authority in New Delhi, as admitting that the authority simply "takes the project developer at his word for clearing the additionality barrier". Controversies over whether specific projects reduce net emissions are still common, he says.
But sincethe board has followed more stringent guidelines for verifying the eligibility trading carbon credits us projects and for enhancing the overall efficiency of the scheme.
Trading carbon credits us some circumstances, the CDM may actually have encouraged the production in developing countries of the coolant chemical HFC, an extremely potent greenhouse gas M. Wara, Nature—; Critics have demanded harsher sanctions against validating companies found guilty of lax oversight, together with clearer conflict-of-interest policies and tighter rules on what qualifies as an additional clean-development project.
International Rivers, an environmental campaigning group based in Berkeley, California, is now calling on the CDM executive board to reject the megawatt Rampur hydropower project in Himachal Pradesh, India, which is awaiting CDM approval.
But the decision to finance that project was taken long before the CDM was even created, says Himanshu Thakkar, director of the Delhi-based South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, clearly invalidating its application.
The company stands by its claim that the project qualifies for the CDM, and says that the Indian government approved the investment proposal for the project inwhen the CDM was already in place. As Nature went to press, the CDM's executive board, which met in Quito, Ecuador, this week, had not yet decided whether to approve the Rampur project. Despite the controversy, the European Union seems determined to continue its mandatory emissions-trading system, which it sees as crucial in tackling climate change.
There's little doubt about the urgency of that goal: This article is reproduced with permission from Nature magazine. It was first published on September 27, Quirin Schiermeier works for Nature magazine. Quirin Schiermeier Quirin Schiermeier works for Nature magazine. Sign up for our email newsletter. Discover Foolish Ideas that Changed the World.