Tuesday, 6 March 2012

CDM money to boost rural electrification

Rural households in developing countries like Uganda will soon be able to swap kerosene lamps and diesel generators for clean renewable energy if the financial incentive provided by the UN Framework on climate change's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) can trickle down to local levels. The CDM allows emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reductions (CERs), each equivalent to one tonne of CO2. CERs can be traded and sold, and used by industrialized countries to meet a part of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

The CDM Executive Board has approved an emissions baseline and monitoring methodology, which can be used by projects that install renewable electricity generation technologies, like solar electric panels, in communities with no access to electricity, as long as 75 percent of the consumers are rural households. 

"Almost a quarter of the people in the world lack access to electricity," said CDM Executive Board Chair
Maosheng Duan. "This methodology, which will allow people to access both clean and affordable technology, should help address this significant drag on development."

To access this money, projects registered under the CDM can earn saleable credits when they reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to sustainable development.
"This is what the CDM is all about – reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to sustainable development," said Duan at the close of the Board’s 66th meeting. "It brings market forces to bear on two of the world’s most pressing challenges, climate change and development."

This concept allows communities to leap-frog dirty technologies and goes straight to a low or
no-emitting technology in their economic development.
During the 66th United Nations General Assembly UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon emphasized that focus should be given to rural electrification, including off-grid systems that serve the poorest segments of the population.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) estimates that with almost 4,000 registered projects in 74 developing countries, the CDM has proven to be a powerful mechanism to deliver finance for emission-reduction projects and contribute to sustainable development. Today, some 1440 projects in 46 countries have been issued a total of more than 875 million CERs.

By Mubatsi Asinja Habati

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