India is one of the top countries in implementation of CDM projects. The Indian CDM authority has stipulated a sustainable criterion for such CDM projects. As per the criteria, the proposed CDM project should bring social, environmental, economic and technical well-being to the project site.
Gujarat Forum on CDM prepared this study with the aim to check the ground reality of sustainable development criteria for selected CDM projects.
11 CDM projects were selected according to their scale, location, surrounding communities and their contribution to sustainable development during October 2012 to March 2013. They were analyzed based on available documents and field visits.
The findings from each project are eye opening and surprising. This analysis proved that sustainable development through CDM project is a myth. Some of the salient findings are highlighted below:
1. In all cases, there are severe discrepancies between the promises in the project documentation and the real impacts of the project implementation.
2. One common scenario has been observed: both, in industrial and renewable energy projects, no employment opportunities are created for local people so there is no monetary benefit for them due to these projects.
3. Industrial projects are getting benefits of CER revenue and they are generating income by using this money for manufacturing activities. This results in more production, more use of natural resources, more pollution and more impact on the environment due to limited carrying capacity of that particular area.
4. Many PDDs are similar because of copying work, since they seem to have been prepared from the same consultant who does not analyze the projects on a case by case basis, and thus misleads the EB and public.
5. Due to the increase of pollution, local people’s health kept deteriorating their agriculture farms and grazing land are negatively affected, which in turn impacts their livelihood.
6. Due to a lack of a social monitoring, there are only very limited opportunities to assess the actual socio economic situation of the villages after the implementation of the projects.
7. Local people are not aware of company’s contact details. Thus, they do not know whom to contact in case of emergency.
8. Yet, the CDM rules in place do not provide any remedy for local communities directly impacted by CDM projects. You can download the full report Glimpses from Ground: Analysis of selected CDM projects in India.
Based on the observations made in this report, we recommended:
- Ongoing complaints must be heard by national authorities for any CDM project,
- In case of breach of conditions given in host country approval, DNA has to use their power to revoke the permission,
- There must be compulsory mechanism to monitor situation for respecting environmental laws of host country – local authority has to check and send report to the DNA.
- There must be some mechanism from which it could be checked whether CER revenue is not being used for more harmful industrial production which is then causing more pollution.
2) Contribution in Sustainable Development
- Social impact assessment should be an integral part of CDM registration process.
- CER revenue must not be used for more expansion of their existing manufacturing activities,
- There must be some legal bindings for project proponents to give employment for local people,
- There must be legal binding on project proponents to uplift social and infrastructural facility in surrounding area,
- Local people have to involve in a process to spend minimum 2% CER money for sustainable development work as per Indian DNA’s provision.
3) Participation of Local People
- Stakeholder Consultation process has to be carried out transparently and with involvement of local authority and active participation from local people
- There must be some provision to accommodate complaints from public for registered CDM projects at national level, so that continuous scrutiny of the projects can be possible.
A study by Gujarat Forum on CDM, India