World Rainforest Movement

EJOLT releases report on CDM in Africa

EJOLT (Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade) is an ambitious collaborative project that brings together 23 environmental organizations and academic institutions to catalogue ecological distribution conflicts and produce material for use by environmental justice organizations in their struggle against environmental injustice (see

An new EJOLT publication provides critical policy analysis and case documentation on the role of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in Africa. The CDM is a mechanism established under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that allows polluting countries in the North to invest in projects that supposedly lead to greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the South. In practice, the CDM has benefited large corporations (in both the North and South) and the governments they influence and often control, with South Africa as a prime case in point.

The report “The CDM in Africa Cannot Deliver the Money”, by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society and the Dartmouth College Climate Justice Research Project, explains why the CDM has failed.

Many sites of emissions in Africa – such as the flaring of gas from oil extraction, coal-burning electricity and deforestation, to name just a few – require urgent attention, as do the proliferation of false “solutions” to the climate crisis, including mega hydropower projects, industrial tree plantations and agrofuels. Across Africa, the CDM finances these dangerous for-profit activities, making them yet more advantageous to multinational corporations, which are mostly based in Europe, the United States or South Africa.

Once again, those who are harmed in the process are local communities, as well as workers and local environments. But various kinds of social resistance have emerged, and in some cases have met with repression or cooptation through “divide and rule” strategies.

The full report is available at: