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Clean Development Mechanism exposed

Posted Dec. 5, 2008 / Posted by: RConnors

KarenPress at the entrance to the climate convention’s media center here were treated this morning to an unexpected press conference on the so-called Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the world’s biggest carbon offsets market. In theory, the CDM allows industrialized countries to support projects that decrease emissions in developing countries and then use the resulting emissions reduction credits towards their own reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

But, as Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environment Network, said, “The CDM is a 'lose-lose' proposition that has become a corrupt and cheap way for the rich North to avoid making real emission reductions. CDM projects in the South generate windfalls for major polluters in the North.”

The CDM is the subject of much negotiation here, with debates on how to reform and/or expand the CDM. Friends of the Earth and many others concerned with both climate change and climate justice are demanding that the CDM be sacked. Full stop! Even the U.S. government’s official accountability body – the Government Accountability Office – strongly criticized the CDM and carbon offsets in a recently released report.

More than a dozen press officers interviewed, listened to, and snapped photos of the press conference speakers: Yuyun Ismawati of BALIFOKUS Foundation in Indonesia; Payel Parekh of International Rivers; Nia Robinson of the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, and Tom Goldtooth of Indigenous Environmental Network.

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