Similar stories are repeated across China and elsewhere around the world, as hundreds of hydro projects line up for carbon credits, at a potential cost of billions to Europeans, Japanese and soon perhaps Americans, in a trading system a new U.S. government review concludes has "uncertain effects" on greenhouse-gas emissions.
One American expert is more blunt.
"The CDM" — the 4-year-old, U.N.-managed Clean Development Mechanism — "is an excessive subsidy that represents a massive waste of developed world resources," says Stanford University's Michael Wara.Part of the fraud of carbon credits exposed. I am all in favor of measures to reduce pollution, but obviously the ball is being dropped.Companies thousands of miles away, such as Germany's coal-burning, carbon dioxide-spewing RWE electric utility, accomplish this by buying carbon credits the U.N. issues to clean-energy projects like Xiaoxi's. The proceeds are meant to make such projects more financially feasible.
As critics point out, however, if those projects were going to be built anyway, the climate doesn't gain, but loses.