Aid, the Clean Development Mechanism and Some Open Questions
An Article for Development Today

by Soumitra Ghosh

first published 3 May 2007

India is a world leader in hosting "carbon-saving" Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, which sell licenses to pollute to Northern industry under the Kyoto Protocol. The country has hundreds of such projects, generating millions of carbon credits and hundreds of millions of dollars in national income.

Indian industry loves the schemes, as this article originally published in Development Today notes. But do they either mitigate climate change or provide sustainable development? Polluting industries that install "efficiency" equipment continue to destroy local livelihoods and violate local rights from Gujarat to Chhatisgarh. In Maharashtra, corporate-owned wind turbines destroy village pastures and agricultural lands. In Uttaranchal, "small" CDM hydropower projects vie with big dams in displacing people from their fields and homes. Do CDM and other carbon projects really mean anything more than the usual blatant corporate profiteering, aided by governments and donor agencies?


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