LONDON A U.N. panel which oversees a market in carbon offsets under the Kyoto Protocol says it has cut a backlog in project approvals, a development that is likely to quell long-running private sector complaints about delays.
The backlog had been cut to less than 30 days, from a high of about 90 days, the U.N. climate agency said on Wednesday.
Under the clean development mechanism (CDM), developed countries exceeding their Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas emissions targets can buy carbon offsets called certified emissions reductions (CERs) from projects that cut emissions in the developing world.
"We'll continue to look for efficiencies and improvements to keep the mechanism moving in a positive direction," said Clifford Mahlung, chair of the CDM panel, called the executive board.
To date, 2,718 CDM projects have been registered in 70 countries and a total of about 498 million CERs, each equivalent to one metric ton of CO2 emissions abated, have been issued to 847 projects, the climate agency said in a statement.