The U.N. body that oversees carbon credit trading has suspended approval of some Chinese wind farms, a government official said on Wednesday, amid questions about how Beijing obtains money through the system.
“The projects are stuck” in the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism, which suspended approval in July pending a review, said Wang Shu, an official of the Cabinet’s Climate Change Department. The panel is based in Bonn, Germany.
China has received millions of dollars through the CDM, which allows industrialized economies to meet commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions by paying developing countries to curb their own instead. But environmentalists say some Chinese wind and hydropower projects improperly receive foreign money while failing to show they would not be built anyway, a requirement known as “additionality.”
The CDM is expected to be a key issue at next week’s global climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. European governments want to change the system, due partly to its failure to slow rapid emissions growth in China, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.
CDM officials raised questions after Beijing released a list in July of prices utility companies would pay for wind power, Wang said.
The government set lower prices for wind power in some regions. That would help more projects qualify for CDM credits because they would need more foreign money to pay for construction. Beijing normally requires utilities to subsidize clean energy by paying more for wind power than for that from coal-fired generators.
“Of course we don’t agree” with the CDM board, Wang said. “They totally know nothing about the real situation in China’s wind power (industry).”
Wang said he did not know how many Chinese projects were affected but he said construction was going ahead without the board’s approval. He said the panel might take up the projects at a regular meeting this month.
“We can only wait for the outcome of their next meeting,” he said. “We can’t stop working because of EB’s decisions.”