False Solution Implemented: Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

The main objective of projects under the CDM or Clean Development Mechanism is to certify emission reductions taking place in developing countries. This certification (carbon credits) is later sold in the carbon markets, which are based on the principle that climate change is a global phenomena and reducing emissions anywhere in the planet will reduce global emissions.  Carbon credits, therefore, end up being sold to countries with reduction commitments so they can reach their mitigation quotas without truly reducing emissions in their territories.

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As a low emitting region, Central America does not have mitigation commitments. Instead, the area should be concentrating on adaptation strategies. However, policy making supports mitigation efforts of developed countries, while adaptation in Central America is neglected, particularly using the lack of information among the general population. By August 2010, the CDM reported 49 projects in CA going ahead, mainly in the energy sector, with 23 of them for hydroelectric power stations and projects of biofuel production (ECLAC 2010). At the time of writing (December 2014), the CDM reports 104 projects going ahead in CA. Below a map of CDM projects in Panama.  Blue towers are hydroelectric power stations.

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