Clean Development Mechanism comes under fire for incompetence

World Environment Day not depressing enough yet? Check this out: the Clean Development Mechanism, a key emissions-reduction program under the Kyoto Protocol, is riddled with incompetence, rule-breaking, and possible fraud, The Guardian reports. The CDM allows nations to fund green-energy projects in developing countries instead of slicing their own emissions. But since its launch in January 2005, it has only offset some 55 million tons of greenhouse gases — roughly what Britain produces in one month. One source suggests that up to 20 percent of those “certified emissions reductions” may not be legitimate. The 17 companies that validate projects have very little oversight; some appear to have made up numbers, accepted false information, and green-lighted projects with no emissions-reducing impact. While the CDM is trying to tighten up ship, some see its troubles as a good argument for why industrialized nations should have to cut their own emissions instead of funding projects far from home.