Why Are There So Few Carbon Offset Projects in Pacific Island Countries?


Author(s): Paul Dargusch1, Shaun McMahon1, Sebastian Thomas2 and Ray Collins1

Abstract

This article examines reasons for the lack of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects registered in Pacific Island Countries (only two of the 1699 projects registered as of 1 July 2009 were located in such countries) and assesses the potential for new project development in the region. Two groupings of CDM projects are analyzed. First, features of the eight CDM projects located in Small Island Developing States and Territories that were registered as of 1 July 2009 are examined to identify what factors have characterized successfully registered CDM projects. (No new projects have been registered in SIDS since this date, although there are more projects currently being validated.) Second, the 122 agricultural-based CDM projects registered as of 1 July 2009 are analyzed to consider how agricultural and bioenergy projects – which seem the most suitable form of CDM projects for the Pacific Islands region – can be best developed in the region. Analysis reveals that agricultural CDM projects that generate electricity have strong potential for development in the Pacific Islands. Policy options to support electricity generation projects are discussed, including the establishment of a regional CDM body, the possibility of Pacific Island countries engaging in unilateral CDM projects, and the role that ‘regional economic leaders’ such as Australia could play to assist project implementation.

Keywords : small-scale projects, clean development mechanism, CDM, SIDS

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