The CDM in Solid Waste Management: Lessons From Four Case Studies

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Solid waste management is rapidly emerging as one of the most problematic sectors in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Four case studies illustrate some of the principal problems in the CDM’s approach to waste management: further impoverishment of the urban poor, competition with recycling, and lack of additionally. These case studies suggest that the CDM’s interventions in the sector are doing more harm than good; in particular, the Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) issued by the CDM often do not represent real reductions at all. The gravity of the problem has prompted the CDM’s own Methodology Panel to undertake a top-to-bottom review of the sector. This review, however, is unlikely to resolve the contradictions inherent in the carbon credit scheme.