World Service on additionality

I just got round to listening to the programme on the World Service last week about the CDM. It contains some gems on additionality:

An Indian company that has set up a biomass generator that runs on rice husks.

World Service: “The carbon credits, then, were they important for your decision to go ahead with the project?”

Interviewee: “Not really, basically. Six months after starting the project we applied for the CDM.”

WS: “So this is a project you would have done anyway, but now the numbers are a just a little bit more favourable?”

I: “Yes, the numbers are more favourable”

WS: “So you would have done it anyway”

I: “Yes”

WS: “So if the authorities at the CDM are silly enough to give you a million dollars extra for it, you’ll take the money?”

I: “Why not.”

Or a spokesman for SRF, an Indian company eligible for 3.8m CERs per year from HFC destruction,

Interviewee: “We were already sensitised to the greenhouse effect of HFC23 and the board gave us approval [to destroy the gas] irrespective of the ratification status of the Kyoto Protocol.”

World Service: “This is something you might well have done anyway?”

I: “Yes, we would have done it anyway.”

WS: “You would have done it anyway, even if the CDM scheme hadn’t been set up.”

I: “That’s right.”

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