Rural households in developing countries will soon be able to swap kerosene lamps and diesel generators for clean renewable energy. This is made possible thanks to the financial incentive provided by the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and an emissions baseline and monitoring methodology approved by the CDM’s executive board.
Projects registered under the CDM can earn saleable credits when they reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to sustainable development. Each project must use an approved methodology to determine existing, pre-project emissions and monitor ongoing emissions once the project is up and running.
“This is what the CDM is all about, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to sustainable development,” said Maosheng Duan, the CDM’s executive board chair, 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.”
The new methodology can be used by projects that install renewable electricity-generation technologies, like solar electric panels, in communities with no access to electricity. This only counts as long as 75% of the consumers are households. It improves on an existing, little-used methodology by including for the first time the concept of suppressed demand, which was adopted by the executive board at its 62nd meeting in July 2011.
Under suppressed demand, a project developer in a less developed country can assume some level of future development and thus a certain projected level of emissions, and then can propose a project to reduce these future emissions with the help of clean technology. These concepts enable communities to leap-frog dirty technologies and go straight to a low or no-emitting technology in their economic development. The methodology also includes more straightforward monitoring requirements.
“Almost a quarter of the people in the world lack access to electricity,” said Duan. “This methodology should help to address this significant drag on development.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon emphasised during the 66th United Nations General Assembly that focus should be given to rural electrification, including off-grid systems that serve the poorest segments of the population. “The CDM board is pleased to approve a methodology for CDM projects that completely supports this aim,” said Duan.
Full acknowledgement and thanks are given to the UNFCCC for the information given to write this article.