The UN Green Climate Fund has grown an impressive $ 9.7bn in 2014 and can be tapped by institutions similar to those active under the CDM umbrella. Look here for more information. The eligibility for accreditation is specified here.
Followers of this blog might have noticed that there was no update on the India project. That’s because the India project met little (that is, zero) response by the Indian project developers. It didn’t come as a surprise: We were all well aware that many project developers used the CDM as a self-service cash machine that hands out bills with few questions asked. Understandably, they do not want me to uncover the lack of emission reductions actually achieved in their projects. I have become very cynical about this. But well, India is not a feasible host country for CDM projects any longer anyway, as the only significant buyer of certificates, the ETS, from now on accepts CERs only from least developed countries, which means basically Africa. Farewell, India!
In the meantime, I have signed up for the WWF and then read the “Schwarzbuch WWF”, which deals with questionable business connections of the NGO. In the beginning, I did not really get the point, as collaboration of greens and chimes seems to me the only feasible road to a better future. However, the world’s oldest and best known NGO for environmental protection seems to achieve little, not justifying the greenwashing it renders to the firms it cooperates with. In other words – it seems to sell its brand below value.
What has happened on the world stage? The EU Parliament finally voted for backloading 900 bn certificates, but the impact of that preliminary measure is limited. Look at the CDM price plateaud on the lowest level imaginable and judge for yourself. The COP19 in Warsaw (of all places; Poland is generating 90% of its electricity by burning coal) has no ambition whatsoever to produce results.
Anybody out there, tell me – what now?
I have created a map of all projects considered for my review and a list of relevant contacts. Both data sets will be subject to frequent updates.
India hosts more than 1,300 CDM projects, more than 90% of which have completed registration. In a vast country, such a number of potential screening objects makes it a challenge of its own to identify suitable projects for an article-based analysis. But filtering is no magic, and limitations in time and funding provide feasible criteria: As I will be based in New Delhi I will limit my efforts to the province of Rajasthan, where only around 150 projects are located. Excluding wind power, which is of little interest to Europeans used to the sight of vertical elements spicing up their mostly horizontal landscapes, further reduces the list; the same goes for photovoltaic cells, instances of which Europeans can regard and contemplate in any neighbourhood inhabited by the upper middle-class.
The smallest project left–in terms of GHG reduction–is a Swiss-made replacement of two diesel-fueled engines to gas-fueled engines in Kota. The largest project on the list is carried out under the auspices of an Indian cement works which has replaced fossil fuels by biomass (which is assumed to have extracted the carbon content later released in the course of burning from the atmosphere as it grew); it is situated in Jaykaypuram, Sirohi. A British project to increase lighting efficiency in Jaipur City adds consumption-based emission reduction to fuel switching. The supposedly most sustainable project is afforestation in Sirsa, Haryana.
Having identified these projects as potential screening objects, the next step is to contact the project managers, and to ask them for information and permission to take pictures.
Consider the fact that is has been almost seven months since we last posted something on this blog, and you will realise how deep the CDM crisis is. With prices of EU ETS allowances having dropped from around €20 to below €5 in less than two years, and Canada having opted out of its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, there is little need for carbon certificates generated under the Clean Development Mechanism. And as if this global obstacle was not enough to discourage our efforts to reduce emissions in developing countries, we are facing difficulties originating in the–otherwise quite fortunate–new employment of most of our members. Entering the workforce has improved our members’ respective financial situation, but it has also diminished our ability to engage in other time-consuming activities such as emisciency.
But when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. My occupation in the Government service will soon take me to New Delhi, India, for three months. This period will comprise weekends enough to visit and document some of India’s many projects with a prospect of writing an analysis of the faults and benefits of specific ways to implement the scheme. This should enable us to hit the ground running once carbon prices recover, or once a new scheme is to succeed a CDM that is finally considered by the UN to have failed.
After more than half a year of silence, once more I promise that I will keep you posted.
The UNFCCC Board provides loans to fund projects from the very beginning to the very end. The current loan scheme is running out 30 September 2012, so we will not be able to apply for a loan, but being in the second round, the scheme might as well be prolonged again.
However, our India projects are not feasible for the loans provided, as they fail to meet the required criteria:
- Projects must have a high probability of registration with the UNFCCC and generating at least 7,500 CERs/year for projects in Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and 15,000 CERs/year in non-LDCs
- Projects must be in host countries with less than 10 CDM project activities registered with the UNFCCC (as of 1 January of the year of submission).
- Project documentation must be developed by an experienced CDM consultant
- The loan must not “crowd out” other obvious funding for the development costs (like donor funding or funding by an already identified buyer of CERs from the project)