The absurdity of the UN's CDM

“The watchdog organisation CDM Watch has confronted the United Nations with new evidence that alleged emissions reductions from HFC-23 destruction projects under the [UN’s] CDM [Clean Development Mechanism] offsetting mechanism are actually increasing global greenhouse gas emissions. The evidence was put forward in an official submission which calls for a benchmark to cut the inflated number of carbon credits generated by these projects by more than 90%.

HFC-23 is a potent greenhouse gas which is an unwanted byproduct of manufacturing the refrigerant gas HCFC-22. Under the UNFCCC’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the destruction of HFC- 23 generates emission reduction credits that are used to fulfil commitments to reduce greenhouse gases. While all 2236 currently registered projects are estimated to generate about 1 billion credits by 2012, only 19 registered CDM HFC-23 projects would be accountable for about half of the issued credits under current rules.

Analysis of monitoring data from all registered HFC-23 destruction projects revealed that CDM HCFC-22 plants are intentionally operated in a manner to maximize the production of offset credits. The analysis indicates that because of the extra CDM revenue more HCFC-22 is produced and far more HFC-23 [is] generated than would occur without the CDM.

The amount of HCFC-22 production and HFC-23 generation appears to be mainly driven by the possibility to generate offset credits rather than other factors”, summarizes Lambert Schneider who evaluated the data.  …

Due to the lack of action by the CDM Executive Board to address these flaws, CDM Watch has now submitted a formal proposal to revise the crediting methodology in line with UN procedures.  …

“The revision would ensure that the CDM projects achieve actual mitigation because it would remove the current financial incentive that causes plants to produce gas for the sole purpose of getting paid to destroy it …”, explains Eva Filzmoser, Director of CDM Watch.

“It’s completely unacceptable for the UN to keep issuing an inflated number of bogus credits that create vast profits for carbon trading groups and chemical companies. If the UN wishes to avoid irreparable damage to its reputation and show that is truly serious about climate mitigation, it must take action now. The CDM Executive Board must put the current methodology on hold with immediate effect and halt issuing credits until the methodology is revised,” [said] Eva Filzmoser.”  “UN Under Pressure to Halt Gaming and Abuse of CDM

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