Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Milestone
Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism passes 100 millionth certified emission reduction milestone
The 100 millionth certified emission reduction (CER) credit under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism has been issued, marking an important environmental, development and carbon market milestone on the road to a low-carbon future.
"The CDM has been up and running just two years, but in that short time it has shown its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stimulate green investment in developing countries," said Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN's top climate change official.
Under the CDM, projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to sustainable development can earn saleable CERs. Countries with an emission reduction or limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol can use the CERs to meet a part of their obligations under the Protocol.
"The CDM has been the focus of intense scrutiny, and rightly so, by those who wish to ensure the mechanism's environmental integrity and contribution to sustainable development, as well by those who want to ensure cost effectiveness. The conclusion that we can draw, looking back from this milestone, is that the CDM is delivering what it was meant to deliver - emission reductions and development. What's more, it has shown that it can evolve, adapt and improve," Mr. de Boer said.
Responding to inputs from CDM stakeholders, and ultimately the Parties that ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the Executive Board that administers the CDM has taken a number of steps in the past two years to scale up, streamline and increase clarity, such as by developing a means of registering multiple project activities under a single programme; developing emissions baseline and monitoring methodologies for small-scale project activities; issuing regular guidance and clarifications on procedures; and developing a searchable computer-based catalogue of Executive Board decisions.
There are currently more than 860 registered CDM projects in 49 developing countries, and about another 2000 projects in the project registration pipeline. The CDM is expected to generate more than 2.6 billion CERs by the time the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2012, each equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide.
Issued CERs are transferred electronically from the CDM Registry, through the international transaction log (ITL), both of which are administered by the UNFCCC secretariat, to national emissions registries. Linking of the ITL to national registries was another important milestone in international emissions trading and CDM. So far the national registries of Japan, New Zealand and Switzerland have "gone live", and CERs have been transferred to the registries of Japan and Switzerland.
About the UNFCCC
With 192 Parties, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol has to date 176 member Parties. Under the Protocol, 36 States, consisting of highly industrialized countries and countries undergoing the process of transition to a market economy, have legally binding emission limitation and reduction commitments. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.