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CDM executive board turns against renewable energy development

The CDM executive board rejected 10 proposed Chinese wind energy projects on the grounds of lack of consistency with the CDM additionality criterion at the beginning of December, causing the wind industry to react with disbelief.

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) heavily criticise the CDM board for failing to substantiate the concerns upon which the wind power projects were questioned, ignoring evidence provided by stakeholders, and apparently contradicting its own long-established guidance against the provision of perverse incentives for national low-carbon policies.

The decision came after months of debate in closed meetings during which the Chinese government was accused of lowering the subsidised tariff for wind power in order to attract CDM investment, GWEC and IETA say.

The CDM executive board has not publicly provided any information or analysis regarding this claim, nor have GWEC or IETA received a reaction to their submissions attempting to address the questions raised over the past several months.

Steve Sawyer, GWEC’s Secretary General, says: “This claim has never been substantiated. Since 2006, which marked the beginning of the wind power boom in China, tariffs for wind power have either remained stable or have in fact risen, as has been well documented in studies from GWEC and others submitted to the UNFCCC.”

With its decision, the CDM board sends a negative signal to renewable energy investments in any country that has decided to be forward thinking and pave a clean development pathway for energy growth, GWEC and IETA say.

Steve Sawyer adds: “Carbon market support of wind power in China, India and a number of other countries has been one of the clear early successes of the CDM. While there are many criticisms to be made of Chinese policy, surely the fact that they are actively making use of the only means open to them to participate in the international climate regime is not one of them?”

Henry Derwent, President and CEO of IETA adds: “The CDM has been doing exactly what it was supposed to do: providing an extra push for the deployment of cleaner energy in developing countries and helping to kick start the transformation to a low carbon economy. The project participants did their best to answer the questions asked of them – but how can one answer a concern that is not clearly formulated and based on a rule that does not exist? Project developers could not have possibly foreseen this issue whilst developing these projects."

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Policy, investment and markets  •  Wind power