By RTCC staff
Applications for UNFCCC Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects soared in February, making it the second highest month for projects on record.
The UNEP Riso Centre reports that 250 proposals were submitted last month – 19 fewer than the previous record set in November 2011.
The CDM is one of three key market-based instruments introduced as part of the Kyoto Protocol to enable states to reduce their carbon emissions.
Under the CDM, low-carbon projects in developing countries can earn certified emissions reduction credits (CERs), each equivalent to one tonne of CO2.
The credits can then be purchased by industrialised countries to meet part of their targets.
Joergen Fenhann from the UNEP Riso Centre had this explanation for the sudden rise in applications: “I assume that the reason for the last amount of projects (before it was around 100-120) is that we are getting close to the end on the first commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol.
“The EU says that they will only buy CERs from non-LDC (Least developed countries) states if the project is registered before the end of this year. Now it takes about a year to get a registration so project developers are in a rush.”
Over 872 million CERs have been issued since the CDM’s birth with projects in China accounting for nearly 60% of the total number of credits handed out to date.
The scheme’s popularity has risen dramatically over the past year – although there are still concerns that Sub Saharan Africa is missing out on this huge source of funding, with just 2.6% of current CDM projects deriving from the region.
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