At the end of March, the UN’s CDM Executive Board approved the sale of 760,000 tonnes worth of “certified emission reductions” per year, according to Xinhua. Gansu Electric Power Investment, the project owner, is contracted to sell the carbon credits to its partner, the Italian energy provider Enel.
The CDM was set up to allow developed countries to meet their emissions-reduction targets by investing in clean projects in the developing world. A CDM project needs to demonstrate that it will lead to a quantifiable reduction in greenhouse gases. It also has to show that it would not have been economically viable without the additional capital generated by carbon trading.
However, critics have argued that the process has been manipulated, particularly by the owners of large-scale hydropower plants, which remain environmentally controversial. Scheduled to go into full operation at the end of September, the Bingling project will have a total generation capacity of 240,000 kilowatts.
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