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Environmental Studies

CDM- How Clean is the Clean Development Mechanism?

The Beginning
The Kyoto Protocol

United States: 
economy vs. ecology

International Reaction to US

Where India Stands 

Citizen Science in India

References & Links

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CDM- How Clean Is The Clean Development Mechanism?


The annual average of CER’s worldwide according to the official CDM website is 211,106,831; and the expected number of CER’s until 2012 is estimated to be greater than 2,700,000,000. There are currently 92 registered CER’s in India, 4 requesting registration and so far only 5 have been rejected.

These CER’s; Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) are climate carbon credits issued by the CDM Executive Board for emission reductions achieved by CDM projects and verified by a DOE under the rules of the Kyoto protocol. CERs can be used by Annex 1 countries in order to comply with their emission limitation targets or by operators of installations covered by the European Union Emission Trading Scheme in order to comply with their obligations to surrender EU Allowances, CERs or Emission Reduction Units for the CO2 emissions of their installations.
These CER’s have, for obvious reasons, been generating high employment rates in developing countries like India, where it is much needed. They also provide new technologies and invest in projects in developing countries; thus in a way pushing such countries forward on the path of industrialization.


 While this at first glance may seem to be a good thing, on noting all the facts mentioned on previous pages, one may ascertain that this mechanism is not good news. But the public and the government in the South seem to be caught up in the international investments to realize the long term disaster they are contributing towards. Many feel that members of the parliament do realize the consequences of the country’s decision at present but refuse to do anything for fear of the United States and other countries.


Another pitfall in the mechanism is that of natural sinks, which a non governmental international organisation called Greenpeace strongly opposes and is campaigning against. [1]


Luckily there are a few non government organizations [2] that look through the confusingly phrased articles in international agreements; like the Kyoto Protocol and clearly state the ulterior motives of the Protocol and the United States. One such organization is the Centre For Science and Environment; located in New Delhi, India.

Its authors, analyze critical international treaties, meetings and protocols and state it all in simple terms and post it on their website. They also publish papers for the government of India, briefing them in the implications of their actions and pleading for change.

There is enormous potential for Citizen Science in India to oppose the Clean Development Mechanism. India Is regarded to be one of the most climate conscious countries, its individuals campaigning for greener options and mechanisms. The fact is that hardly anyone realizes the potential damage that could, and most probably will, result from the CDM.

Capital and New Technologies come flooding in.

Certified Emission Reductions


Centre for Science and Environment logo


Last updated:  2/2/2006


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