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China Dams Reveal Flaws In Climate-Change Weapon

Publication Date: 
January 25, 2009
Source: 
Associated Press
Author: 
Joe McDonald and Charles J. Hanley

Professor Michael Wara is quoted in an Associated Press story about how hydroelectric projects created to offset carbon emissions under the Kyoto Protocol may not be effective in fighting climate change. The Associated Press writes:

But in the end the new Xiaoxi dam may do nothing to lower global-warming emissions as advertised. And many of the 7,500 people displaced by the project still seethe over losing their homes and farmland.

...

Similar stories are repeated across China and elsewhere around the world, as hundreds of hydro projects line up for carbon credits, at a potential cost of billions to Europeans, Japanese and soon perhaps Americans, in a trading system a new U.S. government review concludes has "uncertain effects" on greenhouse-gas emissions.

One American expert is more blunt.

"The CDM" — the 4-year-old, U.N.-managed Clean Development Mechanism — "is an excessive subsidy that represents a massive waste of developed world resources," says Stanford University's Michael Wara.

...

Rather than reduce their own emissions, "firms in developed countries are buying offsets that don't represent real behavioral change, real reductions in emissions," said Wara, the environmental law professor.