Are Emissions offsets scheme Fundamentally Flawed ? - Carbon Emissions;CRC;Clean Developement Mechanism Training Courses

Are Emissions offsets scheme Fundamentally Flawed ?

Date: 26/04/2017 in General

The majority of offset projects under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) “do not provide real and measurable emissions reductions”, according to a study for the European Union’s European Commission (EC).

How Additional Is the Clean Development Mechanism? -- This is an interesting view (some – the more cynical amongst us - would say an anti-UN view and EU ETS “reductions are at least 30% attributable to the great recession) given that the CDM includes Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, in an effort to be holistic, whereas the EU ETS is only concerned with emissions from fossil fuel combustion and does not include all Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gasses.

The EU commission suggest UN carbon credits are less than pure, due to EU commission doubts as to additionality. A certain case of the pot calling the kettle black. The EU disregards all the emission types covered by the CDM except those that are amenable to taxes or charges payable to Bruxelles, quell surprise! To unfairly criticise the UN scheme smacks of something less than decent.

The success of the UN CDM has been as a market-based tool incentivizing projects on the ground, creating saleable emission reduction credits; but, it’s much, much more than a marketing tool to entice capital into the environmental sphere. The CDM mechanism can be used to measure emissions, tally reductions and transparently report those emission reductions, all essential tasks to ensure real reductions and real progress on climate change. The International Standards Organisation or ISO have also developed standards to quantify emissions, tally reductions and transparently report and then robustly validate and verify those emission reductions.

By the end of 2008, over 4,000 CDM projects had been submitted for validation, and of those, over 1,000 were registered by the CDM Executive Board, and were therefore entitled to be issued CERs. Thus we can see that the UN CDM rejected 75% of applications- which must be seen as a good measure of quality control and rigorous application of the rules.

Carbon trading under CDM is an elaborate means of delaying the changes that need to happen in the transition to a global, low-carbon economy. These changes are simple enough in theory, namely, reducing our energy use, switching away from fossil fuels and towards equitable, and justice-based models of renewable energy production and consumption. In practice, these changes constitute a global challenge that involves social and political change, and encompasses a wide variety of issues including land rights, neo-colonial exploitation, trade and South-North relations.

The full extent of potential benefits available to developing countries is its enormous potential to promote sustainable development and increase foreign investment flows to such nations is clear. With thoughtful planning and the development of a national CDM strategy, it can also assist in addressing local and regional environmental problems and in advancing social goals. The CDM allows developing countries to participate in the global effort to combat climate change at a time when other development priorities may limit the funding available for GHG emission reduction activities. The CDM’s objective of advancing the development goals of developing countries recognizes that only through long-term sustainable development will all countries be able to play a role in climate protection.

The CDM since its inception has avoided the emission to atmosphere of more than 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 by over 7000 projects, and granted between 5 billion to 13.5 billion USD to developing countries up to 2012.

The EU scheme over roughly the same period has avoided the emission to atmosphere of we estimate that around 1.2 GtCO were avoided between 2005 and 2011: around 30% of the reduction was the result of a fall in manufacturing output, while around 60% of the reduction was caused by the development of renewable energy and the improvement of the energy intensity according to CDC Climat Research report

According to “CDC Climat Research” (2013) around 1.2 billion tonnes of emissions were avoided between 2005 and 2011: around 30% of the reduction was the result of a fall in manufacturing output, while approximately 60% of the reduction was caused by the development of renewable energy and the improvement in energy intensity, thus the reductions were due to essentially the great recession and modified accounting of emissions.

The EU ETS has been criticized for several failings, The EU Emissions Trading System: Failing to Deliver report , including: over-allocation, windfall profits, price volatility, and in general for failing to meet its goals. The ETS does not consider Scope 2 GHGs nor mist of the non-CO2 gasses, whereas the CDM does include these GHG sources in its quantification and measurements.

To accurately quantify our emissions is the first step in combatting man-made global warming, on this ISO has developed a series of Standards to allow us robustly quantify GHG inventories, design GHG emission reductions or enhance GHG removals and to validate and verify such programmes such that a tonne of CO2e is the same whether it originates in Albania, Armenia or Australia. , Carbon Action has delivered the ISO/ Canadian Standards Association developed GHG training in ISO 14064 Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 training programmes since 2009 as part of our desire to promote credibility in GHG accounting.


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