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CDM achievements far outweigh difficulties and flaws

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A panel of climate experts, economists, and government officials have noted the difficulties, and discussed ways on how to increase participation by developing countries in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

At a three-day United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (Unctad) meeting in Geneva at the end of April, delegates concluded that the CDM’s achievements in its four years of existence far outweighed its difficulties and flaws.

Unctad has further been asked to assist in streamlining further investments under the CDM and to support developing countries in developing nationally appropriate mitigation actions that include innovative policy approaches related to reduced deforestation, clean energy production and use, and clean transportation options.

South Africa, through the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in particular, has established a long-term mitigation scenario with regard to climate change. This would inform South Africas legally binding climate change policy going forward.

Unctad was also invited to join efforts with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, Risoe Centre, and the World Bank to boost emission reduction projects in a greater number of developing economies.

Among the issues discussed at the meeting were the state of play of the current negotiations on a climate deal for the post-2012 period (when commitments of the Kyoto Protocol would expire), scenarios for the future carbon market with the participation of the European Union and the US, and the challenges developing countries faced in benefiting from the CDM.

The CDM is an international programme designed to create a market system for reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere.

The CDM allows industrialised countries, which have emissions-reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol, to achieve these reductions through individual projects in developing economies.

Investments to generate these reductions are compensated with certified emission reductions units (CERs – denominated in units of one ton of carbon dioxide – CO2).

Currently, ten developing countries account for 85% of all CDM projects. The hope was that numerous developing countries would be able to benefit from CDM, which could attract funding for projects such as industrial energy efficiency, methane capturing from urban landfills, low emission transportation modes, and reforestation.

Unctad said that the CDM has successfully created a vigorous carbon market for developing and developed countries alike.

In four years, by April 2009, the CDM had issued CERs amounting to 277-million tons of CO2, generating

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