Africa: Clean Development Mechanism - the Most Successful in Climate Change Adaptation

By far the single most successful programmme undertaken in terms of the Kyoto Protocol has seen over a $100 billion worth of investments in mitigation projects in developing countries.

Although, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), spelt out in Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, has earned criticism from civil society organisations, it is playing a significant role in more than 3 500 projects in 72 least developed countries in renewable and non-renewable energy sources, manufacturing industries, waste handling and disposal, afforestation and reforestation as well as agriculture among others.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres and the Chair of the Executive Board of the CDM, Martin Hession on Saturday on the sides of the ongoing COP17 launched a policy dialogue which will reflect on experiences gained in implementing the CDM and recommend how to position the mechanism in the climate change agenda. She said, "the object of the dialogue is to reflect on the CDM experience - both the good and the bad - and build on this important mechanism for the future."

The CDM is aimed at assisting countries to better handle climate change, achieve sustainable development goals and create incentives for investments while at the same time allowing developing countries to earn credits from emission reduction projects which can be sold and used by industrialised countries to meet a part of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

The mechanism influences sustainable development and emission reductions, while giving industrialised countries flexibility on how they meet their emission reduction or limitation targets.

The policy dialogue has a panel of 12 members drawn from civil society, business and industry and policy makers with an a one-year mandate to bring together experiences gained in its implementation and call for its fine tuning to achieve positive results.

The results of the panel's work will be presented to the CDM Executive Board in September 2012 and published in a report which is expected to provide recommendations for the future design and operations of the CDM, as well as inform negotiations on related issues, including potential new market-based instruments.

"We want to learn from the past to build for the future. To do that we need to engage civil society, policymakers and market participants in an open, formal and constructive dialogue," said Mr Hession.

"This is the most single reliable source of adaptation fund and has a continued potential", he added.

The CDM he said has also built a huge capacity and is the single most successful story on the issue of climate change.

The 12-member panel drawn from Ecuador, India, Brazil, China, United Kingdom, South Africa, Zimbabwe among other countries is expected to engage a wide range of stakeholders to gain a full and unbiased understanding of the operations, experience, benefits and shortcomings of the CDM.

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