By James Burgess
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is the only global carbon trading system which is designed to create funding to give poor countries access to new energy technologies; and it is on the verge of collapse.
The UN’s system has raised billions of dollars over the past seven years to develop renewable energy projects, such as wind farms and solar panels, in developing countries. Its survival is in jeopardy due to the failure of governments to commit to it for the future.
A UN panel reported yesterday that raising investment to help developing countries move away from carbon intensive energy sources would be virtually impossible if the CDM were to collapse. They urged governments to reassure investors by promising to support the system in the future, increasing their current emission targets, and even buying carbon credits themselves.
Joan MacNaughton, the vice chair of the UN panel, told the Guardian that, “the carbon market is profoundly weak, and the CDM has essentially collapsed. It’s extremely worrying that governments are not taking this seriously.”
Governments have a last chance to pledge themselves to the system when they meet in Qatar in December to discuss climate change.