Yvo de Boer, U.N.'s top climate change official, Thursday called
for expanding the benefits of clean development mechanism (CDM) to
Africa at a press conference in Bali, a resort island of Indonesia,
which is hosting a two-week U.N. climate change conference.
"There are 850 clean development mechanism projects in 49
developing countries, but only 23 of those projects are in Africa.
It's time that the benefits of this important Kyoto Protocol
mechanism were expanded in Africa," said Yvo de Boer, executive
Secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (
UNFCCC), at the press conference.
Meanwhile, representatives of the five agencies implementing the
Nairobi Framework aimed at spreading the benefits of CDM also said
that a great deal more remains to be done to extend the benefits of
the CDM to Africa.
Under the CDM, projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and
contribute to sustainable development can earn saleable certified
emission reductioncredits (CERs).
Countries with a commitment under the Kyoto Protocol can use the
CERs to meet a portion of their obligations under the Protocol.
A year after then Secretary-General Kofi Annan launched the
Nairobi Framework, aimed at spreading the benefits of CDM to more
countries, several more projects have been launched in Africa.
Projects in Africa account for just 2.6 percent of all CDM
projects, according to a press release of the conference.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations
Environment Program (UNEP), the World Bank, African Development
Bank and UNFCCC secretariat have joined forces to implement the
Nairobi Framework, and bring to life the expressed aspirations of
Parties to scale up CDM in Africa.
They have written a comprehensive project proposal for which
they are seeking donor support.
"UNDP considers climate change to hit at the very heart of its
development mission. Climate change threatens to seriously
undermine efforts to eliminate poverty and reach the Millennium
Development Goals, particularly in the least developed countries,"
said Yannick Glemarec, Executive Coordinator of the UNDP--Global
The first concrete UNDP project outcome under the Nairobi
Framework is a six-country CDM capacity development project in sub-
Saharan Africa initiated in September 2007. The project managed by
a UNDP Regional Project Coordinator based in Addis Ababa covers
Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, and
was launched in October.
The Governments of Spain, Sweden and Finland have contributed a
total of 1.5 million U.S. dollars to the project.
"In Africa, efforts to capture CDM benefits are accelerating,
supported by a number of individual and joint U.N. efforts.
Overcoming the complexity of the CDM and general investment
barriers, however, cannot be done overnight, but our sustained
efforts are producing results," said John Christensen, Head of UNEP
RISOE Center, based in Denmark.
Konrad von Ritter, Sector Manager for Sustainable Development at
the World Bank Institute, pointed to real accomplishments in the
"There has been a notable increase in capacity-development
resulting in a pipeline of 30 CDM projects. Of these, 14 have
already signed emissions reduction purchasing agreements with World
Bank carbon funds. While this is positive we all know that more
needs to be done, and therefore the critical importance of the
Nairobi Framework to scale up capacity development," Konrad von
There are currently more than 850 registered CDM projects in 49
countries, and about another 2,000 projects in the project
registration pipeline. The CDM is expected to generate more than 2.
6 billion U.S. dollars certified emission reductions (tradable
CERs) by the time the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol
ends in 2012, each equivalent to one tone of carbon dioxide.
With 191 Parties, UNFCCC has near universal membership. It is
the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which has to date 175
Under the Protocol, 36 industrialized countries and countries
undergoing transition to a market economy, have legally binding
green house gas (GHG) emission limitation and reduction
commitments, while developing countries have non-binding
obligations to limit emissions.
The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize GHG
concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent
dangerous human interference with the climate system.
(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2007)