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UN: CDM Increasing Emission-Saving Initiatives, Critics Disagree

The United Nations claims that its Clean Development Mechanism  (CDM) is causing an increase in emission-saving initiatives around the world, BusinessGreen reports.

The UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) year-end snap shot of CDM projects (PDF) reveals that the number of projects between 2004 and November this year increased to more than 4,200 projects from 61 four years ago. UNEP projects the number of projects will almost double by 2012.

In Asia/Pacific projects have gone from 18 in 2004 to more than 3,000 this year. In Latin America, the number has gone from 41 to more than 800; in Africa from 2 to almost 90; in the Middle east from zero to more than 50; and in the combined Eastern Europe and Central Asia region from zero to more than 40.

Although the number of CDM projects are up around the world, the U.S. Government Accountability Office recently issued a report which concluded that the CDM projects are not getting the job done. The report said one of the biggest problems facing the CDM is that it is hard to determine if the green projects rich nations are funding in developing countries such as China or India would have taken place without the funding.

CDM projects have been criticized many times. In October, Jorund Buen, director at Point Carbon, said some companies are forging documents in an attempt to gain certification for projects under the CDM.

In August, the World Bank said that CDM is “expensive and time consuming” because it requires project managers to follow new rules regarding emission reduction technologies.

Earlier this year, U.N. regulators who administer the CDM questioned whether projects produce a real environmental benefit and raised concerns about some independent auditors of the projects.

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