Pandas Behaving Badly
12:43 PM, Dec 3, 2009 • By KELLEY CURRIE
Since this "additionality" requirement was a key element of the whole CDM scheme, the UN was apparently forced to suspend at least 50 projects. Oopsie. And it apparently gets worse the more you look into it: Chinese climate scientists who helped design the system and who continue to work for the UN in managing it are also getting paid as consultants by applicants to the program. The Chinese are by far the largest recipients of the CDM's funds. According to an FT analysis, China has earned more than a billion dollars -- nearly half of the total issued by the CDM in the past five years -- from creating carbon credits to sell to rich industrial companies. What elevates this particular scandal above the usual banal UN waste, fraud and abuse boondoggles? That would be the embarrassing fact that this information has come out the same week that the world's climate poohbahs are gathering in Copenhagen to save the planet. Could it be that someone in the UN actually wanted to blow the whistle on China's actual behavior, as opposed to the "Green China" hype peddled by New York Times columnist/Obama BFF Tom Friedman?
Last week, when they announced their plan to reduce "carbon intensity" by 40-45 percent, the Chinese simultaneously demanded that developed countries commit from 0.5 to 1 percent of their annual gross domestic product to help poorer nations make reductions, presumably through such wealth transfer mechanisms as an expanded CDM. Does anyone know the Mandarin for "chutzpah"? Maybe Friedman can help them figure it out.