Reducing the world’s carbon footprint

7 November 2018

Scientific evidence shows that rising levels of man-made greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere are causing the world’s climate to heat up at an unprecedented rate. Under the Kyoto Protocol, nations came together and made a commitment to reduce their share of global greenhouse gas emissions as a way of combating climate change. They also developed a highly effective tool to help them achieve this goal – the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

Under the CDM, eco-projects in developing countries can earn a saleable credit for each tonne of greenhouse gas emissions they are able to reduce or avoid. Since 2001, this incentive has led to the registration of more than 8,000 projects and programmes across 111 countries. These projects cover a range of green strategies, from clean cookstove projects and municipal waste management, to wind power and schemes that destroy potent industrial gases.

The credits, known as certified emission reductions (CERs), are equivalent to a reduction of 1 tonne of carbon dioxide and can be used by countries signed up to the Kyoto Protocol to cover part of their commitment. CERs can also be purchased by companies as part of their corporate social responsibility efforts.

Since the inception of CDM, the scheme has been part of the planning for large events like the Olympics, and is even used by individuals who want to contribute to emission reductions in an effective way. This success has seen CDM stimulate investments of around US$304 billion in climate and development projects and has led to the issuance of some two billion CERs.  

To acknowledge the success of the CDM and increase awareness of the tool’s global reach and benefits, UN Climate Change worked with QUO to produce Achievements of the Clean Development Mechanism 2001-2018: Harnessing Incentive for Climate Action, which gives a concise overview of how the CDM and its projects and programmes are helping to mitigate climate change while providing green jobs and reducing poverty.

The report was designed to be accessible and engaging, while incorporating information that could be taken in at a glance. To achieve this, QUO created two pages of infographics showcasing the most impressive CDM milestones and showing how the CDM works, step-by-step, from start to finish.

To accompany the launch of the report at the Bangkok Climate Change Conference, held in September 2018, QUO also designed a series of posters that highlighted key elements from the report.