Rat race

Emissions reduction projects go to large developing nations

Published: Saturday 31 January 2004

india is leading the race to get projects from industrialised countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (ghgs). According to the latest statistics, India is hosting 11 out of the total 59 projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (cdm) of the Kyoto Protocol. Brazil, with 10 projects, is second. The Indian projects will result in emissions reductions equivalent to 37,729,208 tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2012.

Signed in 1997, the protocol represents the international effort to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide. It directs industrialised countries, mainly responsible for letting out these gases in the atmosphere, to cut ghg emissions by about five per cent of the 1990 levels. Under cdm, industrialised countries can cheaply reduce their emissions by investing in 'clean' projects in developing countries.

The 59 potential cdm projects in various stages of approval are a mix of hydro power (eight), renewable energy (28), fuel switching (five), mono-culture plantation (one), waste incineration (one), gas capture/removal (15) and energy efficiency (six). In some cases, a single project has more than one type, for instance, fuel switching and mono-culture plantation.

The statistics collated by cdm Watch, which monitors the mechanism, also show that the projects are not spread equally amongst 23 developing countries hosting 59 projects. Costa Rica and Chile have six and four potential cdm projects each, while others like Nicaragua and Mexico have only one project each.

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