The Clean Development Mechanism and COP 14


Day 4 Observations from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland, held Dec. 1 - 12.

There are thousands of people running around at COP14. It is an excellent place for meeting colleagues and finding out what is happening on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) fund. You see, rich countries are committed under the Kyoto protocol to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. One option on the table is that instead of reducing the emissions in their own country, they can finance a project in a developing country. So the financing mechanism for doing this is called the Clean Development Mechanism.Most of time, the projects financed are related to renewable energy like wind turbines, solar, improved cooking stoves, etc.

CARE is exploring how this financial mechanism can direct resources to projects that have a clear poverty-reduction impact (rural households, solar panels, energy-efficient stoves, bio-gas plants for manure, etc…). I am following the negotiations on the CDM. My goal at COP14 is to gather information on the CDM and network with people who work on this particular issue.

CARE does not have a formal position on CDM, but we see the potential it has for the work we do. Today, there are about 4000 projects around the world financed through the CDM. We would like to see all CDM projects have clear poverty-reduction goals. We would like to draw more attention on the ’˜D” within the CDM; after all, D stands for Development.

The negotiators are examining the Kyoto protocol and CDM is on the table. Today there are only 84 CDM projects in Africa, out of about 4000. One of the discussion topics related to CDM is how to have a better geographical distribution of CDM projects, especially in Africa. There is great potential in CDM if projects are designed with a clear poverty-reduction goal in mind and if they target the poorest countries in the world.