U.N. approves thousandth Kyoto clean energy project

The coal-burning Mount Piper Power station located in the Central West region of New South Wales, around 150km (93 miles) west of Sydney, is seen April 27, 2007. REUTERS/David Gray

LONDON (Reuters) - The United Nations approved the one thousandth clean energy project under a program run under its Kyoto Protocol global warming pact, the U.N.’s climate change secretariat said on Monday.

Under the UNFCCC’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) scheme, rich countries can meet their greenhouse gas reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol by buying offset credits issued to clean energy projects in developing nations.

The 1,000 registered projects are expected to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 49 countries by more than 200 million tonnes annually.

“The CDM has passed another milestone, time to reflect on our success and redouble our efforts to improve and expand the mechanism,” said Rajesh Kumar Sethi, Chair of the CDM’s Executive Board, in a statement.

The one thousandth registration was an energy efficiency project in Andhra Pradesh, India, expected to generate a carbon dioxide reductions of around 34,000 tonnes.

India and China are home to more than half of all registered projects.

“With 1,000 projects in 49 countries in just two and half years, the ‘infant’ CDM has shown its potential, and is maturing into a ‘junior’,” Sethi added.

“It’s clear that there is still much greater potential that can be realized, while respecting the imperative of ensuring environmental integrity and making the mechanism as simple as possible.”

Reporting by Michael Szabo; editing by James Jukwey