The Netherlands now proposes to purchase “offsets” from the Bujagali Dam on the Nile River in Uganda. The CDM board will decide whether to register Bujagali for credits on Dec. 29.
The CDM is supposed to catalyze climate-friendly projects in low-income countries by allowing developers to sell carbon credits to clean-energy projects that couldn’t otherwise be built without the extra boost from the carbon credits. While this sounds like a “win-win” situation, CDM credits too often do not represent real reductions in emissions (and too often have supported dirty dams rather than real clean energy projects). Structural flaws in the system and cheating by project developers has meant that billions of dollars worth of credits are being sold by projects that never needed assistance from the CDM to be built.