Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism "basically a farce"

The UN at work

Why does this not surprise me in the least? Virtually everything remotely connected with the UN is “basically a farce”, but this disaster has been exposed more comprehensively than most. As Nature reports:

Critics have long questioned the usefulness of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which was established under the Kyoto Protocol. It allows rich countries to offset some of their carbon emissions by investing in climate-friendly projects, such as hydroelectric power and wind farms, in developing countries. Verified projects earn certified emission reductions (CERs) — carbon credits that can be bought and sold, and count towards meeting rich nations’ carbon-reduction targets.

But a diplomatic cable published last month by the WikiLeaks website reveals that most of the CDM projects in India should not have been certified because they did not reduce emissions beyond those that would have been achieved without foreign investment. Indian officials have apparently known about the problem for at least two years.

“What has leaked just confirms our view that in its present form the CDM is basically a farce,” says Eva Filzmoser, programme director of CDM Watch, a Brussels-based watchdog organization. The revelations imply that millions of tonnes of claimed reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions are mere phantoms, she says, and potentially cast doubt over the principle of carbon trading. “In the face of these comments it is no wonder that the United States has backed away from emission trading,” Filzmoser says.

[Yet] on the evidence of discussions at the meeting, most of the carbon-offset projects in India fail to meet the CDM requirements set by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The cable also describes the UN’s validation and registration process as “arbitrary”. 

Once again, this kind of revelation demonstrates that climate mitigation policies are nothing more than pointless gimmicks, moving billions of dollars around the globe for minimal or no environmental benefit whatsoever.

Commenter on the article William Eschenbach sums it up:

I love the CDM. It takes money from people in Europe who wouldn’t dream of allowing a hydroelectric dam to be built in their country, and gives it to China to build … of course … hydroelectric dams.

Couldn’t be a better symbol for the whole climate madness.

Read it here.

(h/t Bryan H)

Failed climate gimmicks axed in budget

Gimmicks axed

Because anything Australia does unilaterally to “tackle climate change” is nothing more than a pointless gimmick, wasting money that could be spent on schools, medical research, housing – anything, in fact, rather than climate change.

WAYNE Swan has taken the razor to a raft of green programs, particularly those aimed at cutting emissions from coal consumption, and mopped up a string of failed green programs in a budget that, as expected, makes little mention of the impending carbon tax.

While carbon capture and storage have borne the brunt of the cuts, the government has moved to wind up failed programs such as Green Loans, the Home Insulation Safety Program and Green Start.

The cutback to the Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships program has been slated to provide $420 million of the $22 billion in savings measures announced in the budget. Of this, $260m has been deferred beyond the forward estimates.

The government has also delivered on its election promise, cutting funding for the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, one of former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s pet climate change programs [my hear. The cuts to the CCS Institute, which was charged with promoting the technology internationally, yield savings of $45m over two years from the next financial year.

Also cut was $12.8m over five years from the National Low Emissions Coal Initiative, which was designed to support the development and deployment of technologies to reduce emissions from coal use.

But it’s not all good news, as some of these savings will be wasted yet again:

But some of the savings from the cuts to the CCS Flagships program have been used to create a $60.9m National CO2 Infrastructure Plan, which will fund exploration of geological basins for long-term storage hubs and the acquisition of CO2 storage data in basins in NSW, Victoria and Western Australia.

The CO2 Infrastructure Plan will also help fund a National CO2 drilling rig deployment strategy and a national CO2 storage and transport infrastructure assessment.

What a relief. The world can sleep soundly knowing Australia now has a CO2 Infrastructure Plan…

Read it here.

Green gimmicks axed to pay for floods

… has a silver lining

Every cloud…

GREEN programs have been hit hard by spending cuts to help pay for rebuilding in flood-devastated parts of Australia.

They include Julia Gillard’s much derided $394 million “cash for clunkers” program, an election promise designed to get older cars off Australian roads.

Other programs axed include the green car innovation fund and the green start fund.

Savings have also been found across the forward estimates in the solar hot water program and the solar homes and communities program, and in funding for the global carbon capture and storage institute.

The Greens are apoplectic:

“It beggars belief that the government would choose to cut climate change programs like solar flagships, energy efficiency and the solar hot water rebate to fund disaster relief when such disasters will be made worse by climate change,” Senator Milne said. (source)

Double joy.

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