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Qualified support

November 25, 2010

So this morning the EU Commission released its proposal for banning placing “qualitative restrictions” on certain types of CERs and ERUs.

I have just started reading the proposal and was struck by this phrase:

JI and CDM are also so-called pure offsetting mechanisms, whereby a tonne of greenhouse gas emissions reduced creates the right to emit a tonne of greenhouse gas elsewhere. While such systems generally help to reduce the cost of global abatement enabling action in countries where it is more cost-efficient, they do not assist in the reduction efforts necessary to progress towards the 2°C target.

 To me, that seems like a pretty hardline position to take on these mechanisms. There is actually a decent argument for saying that the value of these mechanisms is that they can deliver low carbon infrastructure for the medium to long run in developing countries (hence the CDM stands for “Clean Development Mechanism”!).

I’m a little worried that the Commission doesn’t appear to support these mechanisms – at least their potential – wholeheartedly.

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