Emissions offsets scheme ‘fundamentally flawed’

The majority of offset projects under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) do not provide real and measurable emissions reductions, according to a study for the European Commission. 

The CDM enables developed countries to buy credits from renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in less economically developed regions to help meet their emission reduction commitments under the Kyoto protocol.

Although the CDM is due to end in 2020, similar offset mechanisms have been proposed under the climate change deal agreed last year in Paris and the International Civil Aviation Organization’s scheme to reduce emissions from aviation.  

A key requirement of the CDM is that emissions reductions are ‘additional’, in other words, they would not have happened in the absence of the mechanism. The commission ...

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