U.N. Proposes Stricter Offset Rules

U.N. Proposes Stricter Offset Rules

The United Nation's climate change arm wants to stiffen the rules for offsets from profitable projects that would have moved forward without help from its trading program.

The U.N.'s Clean Development Mechanism allows polluters to buy carbon credits from emissions reduction projects in the developing world. Projects that are economically viable are not eligible for CDM inclusion.

The proposal aims to strengthen additionality in the CDM, which means that emissions reductions from projects are additional to what would have occured in a business-as-usual scenario.

The U.N. suggested first applying the additional screening to biomass-to-energy projects.

"The primary focus thereby should be on exploring which other (existing) project activities are potentially very profittable even without considering additional revenues from the CDM," the U.N. said last week.

The CDM has faced criticism for issuing certified emissions reductions (CER) for projects under construction prior to CDM approval, including hydroelectric ventures.

The U.N. is taking public comments on the proposal through Sept. 3.