Friday, June 2, 2017

U.N. Clean Development Mechanism promotes violence

Land grabs and violence against rural Hondurans have gotten worse since the 1990s. The 2009 military coup gave the large landholders even more flexibility in expelling small landholders from their land. The incentives for doing so also grew with the entry of rich foreign corporations and strong World Bank support. A prominent company called Dinant Corporation, which is owned by one of Honduras’s most powerful men, has been accused of killing over 100 peasants in recent years. Dinant is financed by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, supported by the U.N. Clean Development Mechanism and has links with global corporations like Mazola Oils.

Honduras is not the only country where this is happening. Large corporations have been taking control of rural land in many parts of the world over the last decade. That access is sometimes lawful but other times shadowy, and it is sometimes accompanied by brutal armed conflict against unarmed peasants. Globally, land grabs accelerated in the mid-2000s, putting a large number of smallholders in crisis. Large foreign corporations joined in, and there have been killings and terrorizing of smallholders who fight back.


  1. "Local resistance
    While the C in CDM stands for Clean, most projects might be better defined with the B from Big, from large hydropower to HFC or waste to energy and clean coal projects (which all together make the majority of credits generated through CDM). The argument in favor of the CDM is that it brings development to the South. However, in all continents the mainly Big Development it stands for is resisted by local people in those countries. A global coalition of researchers published a large report on African civil society resistance to CDM projects all over the continent.[22] In New Delhi, India, a grassroots movement of wastepickers is resisting another CDM project[23] on what the makers call 'the waste war' in Delhi. In Panama, a CDM project is blocking peace talks between the Panamanian government and the indigenous Ngöbe-Buglé people.[24] Civil society groups and researchers in both North and South have complained for years that most CDM projects benefit big industries, while doing harm to excluded people. As local protests against CDM projects are arising on every continent, the notion that CDM 'brings development to the South' is contested.

  2. Why are these projects approved by the Clean_Development_Mechanism Executive Board (EB)?’, one might wonder. One of the main problems is that the EB is a highly politicized body. People taking a place in the board aren’t independent technocrats, but are elected as representatives of their respective countries. They face pressure from their own & other (powerful) countries, the World Bank (that subsidizes certain projects), and other lobbying organisations. This, combined with a lack of transparency regarding the decisions of the board leads to the members favouring political-economical over technical or scientific considerations.[55][61][64] It seems clear that the CDM isn’t governed according to the rules of ‘good governance’. Solving this problem might require a genuine democratization in the election of the EB-members and thus a shift in thinking from government to governance. In practice this would mean that all the stakeholders should get a voice in who can have a seat in the EB.

  3. For example, May 2, 2008, at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), Indigenous leaders from around the world protested against the Clean Energy Mechanisms, especially against Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

  4. Windfarms in Western Sahara
    In 2012, it was announced, that a windfarm complex is going to be located near Laayoune, the capital city of the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Since this project is to be established under tight collaboration between the UN (which itself recognizes Western Sahara's status of a non-autonomous country) and the Moroccan government, it has been questioned by many parties supporting Western Sahara independence, including the Polisario.[75]

  5. The UNFCCC has recognized that climate change and poverty are linked. Because the CDM is the only mechanism involving developing countries, this Article analyzes the impacts of this mechanism on poverty alleviation. The first Part of the Article focuses on the current system and its failure as it relates to poverty eradication; neither the poorest countries nor the most vulnerable populations benefit from the CDM projects.