carbon credits

The CDM allows emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2. These CERs can be traded and sold, and used by industrialized countries to a meet a part of their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

The mechanism stimulates sustainable development and emission reductions, while giving industrialized countries some flexibility in how they meet their emission reduction limitation targets.

The primary purpose of the Protocol was to make developed countries pay for their ways with emissions while at the same time monetarily rewarding countries with good behaviour in this regard. Since developing countries can start with clean technologies, they will be rewarded by those stuck with "dirty? ones. This system poises to become a big machine for partially transferring wealth from wealthy, industrialised countries to poor, undeveloped countries. A CER or carbon Credit is defined as the unit related to reduction of 1 tonne of CO2 emission from the baseline of the project activity.

Let us say that India decided to invest in a new power station, and has decided on a particular technology at the cost of X crore. An entity from an industrialised country (which could even be a company) offers to provide India with slightly better technology, which costs more (say Y crore), but will result in lower emissions. The industrialised country will only pay the incremental cost of the project - viz. Y minus X. In return, the "investing? country will get certified emission reductions? (CERs), or credits, which it can use to meet its Kyoto commitments.

This is a very good deal indeed - but for the investing country. Not only do they sell developing countries their technology, but they also meet their Kyoto commitments without lifting a finger to reduce their domestic emissions. Countries like the US can continue to pollute at home, so long as it makes the reductions elsewhere.


The Innovator

Gurmit Singh, New Delhi

Dr. Gurmit Singh is a research scientist and an environmentalist, his profound enthusiasm and passion for renewable energy technologies has been for 28 years now. He holds both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from 'Rheinisch-Westfalische Technische Hochschule Aachen.' In Germany and spent 14 years in Germany working as a research Scientist and then 8 years in Florida, USA in Solar Research. He is winner of 'Lockheed Martin Innovation Award 2008' in renewable energy, also won the '2010 BuildArch Award'and recently won the 'i3 India Innovates Award 2011'. His professional career started with a technology assessment of the carbon abatement potential of specific industrial technologies in the EU, and the evaluation of national and international policies and measures in the areas of climate change, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Currently he is a Visiting Faculty for 'Renewable Energy' at Amity University, Noida