New standard for rural electrification adopted

New standard for rural electrification adopted

(Bonn, 24 July 2015) Improving the lives of people without access to electricity is the motivation behind a new standard adopted by the Executive Board that oversees the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The new standard enables crediting emission reductions from electrification of rural communities using renewable energy, for example through installation of solar-electric panels for household electricity, and thereby helps address climate change while contributing to sustainable development.

“There are still far too many people around the world without access to electricity. This new standard will help bridge this critical development gap using clean technologies,” said Lambert Schneider, Chair of the CDM Executive Board.

Projects registered under the CDM can earn a saleable certified emission reduction credit for each tonne of carbon dioxide they reduce or avoid. Projects require an approved standard, or methodology, to calculate the volume of emissions reduced.

Electrification projects are particularly relevant for the least developed countries and other regions underrepresented in the CDM. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, more than 620 million people – two-thirds of the population – live without electricity, according to IETA's World Energy Outlook.

The Board also improved existing regulations governing water purification and clean cookstove projects under the CDM. The revised regulations will make it easier to calculate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions saved, as well as reduce the transaction costs involved, without compromising environmental integrity.

“Providing clean water and energy to rural communities is central to sustainable development in developing countries,” said Executive Board member Washington Zhakata from Zimbabwe. “Choosing the most appropriate technology is one of the necessary steps in bringing clean energy to rural areas.”

According to the United Nations, 750 million people around the world lack access to safe drinking water, while over 4 million people a year suffer a premature death as a result of indoor air pollution from cooking with solid fuels.

The improvements agreed by the Board also contribute to achieving the objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative, launched at the end of 2011 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which sets ambitious targets for universal access to electricity and cooking energy systems by 2030.


For a full report of the meeting see <>.

For more information please visit <>

For further information please contact David Abbass <dabbass(at)>, Public Information Officer, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat, Bonn, Germany.

About the Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism

The CDM allows emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2. CERs can be traded and sold, and used by industrialized countries to meet a part of their targets under the Protocol. The CDM assists countries in achieving sustainable development and emission reductions, while giving industrialized countries some flexibility in how they meet their emission targets.

Photo by: UNFCCC, Photographer: Sudipto Das
CDM PROJECT - 6328: National Solar Power Development Programme, India