(355c) Analysis of United Nations Clean Development Mechanism Carbon Emission Reduction Projects from a Life Cycle Assessment Perspective

Authors: 
Chernomordik, T., University of Colorado Denver
Karunanithi, A. T., University of Colorado Denver
We analyze, from a life cycle perspective, the effectiveness of the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) emission reduction projects implemented in developing countries. Typically, the carbon offset credit allocated to these projects account for avoided direct emissions of GHGs but do not include indirect emissions that occur during upstream and downstream steps (for both avoided as well as the project emissions). We explore, through a case study approach, how these projects perform when life cycle calcualtions are used. Further, we also explore if these proejcts lead to lower (or higher) health and ecosystem impacts (co-benefits). A small but diverse set of renewable energy generation CDM projects are compared on an equivalent bassis to assess any potential problem shifting issues. Results from this study can help policy makers assess effectivenss of such projects in a more holistic manner and fine tune their emission calculation methodologies.