The Executive Board of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has issued the first ever Certified Emission Reductions (CER) to two small hydroelectric projects in Honduras - La Esperanza and Rio Blanco.

Implemented by Honduras’ Consorcio de Inversiones, the 12.7MW run of river La Esperanza is selling 2210 CERs to the World Bank’s Community Development Carbon Fund (CDCF). It will sell the electricity generated to the National Utility company ENEE for the next 15 years.

The 5MW Rio Blanco has agreed to sell approximately 200,000 tonnes of emissions reductions of greenhouse gases to the Finnish government, in a project that has been developed within the Finnish CDM/JI Pilot programme.

Koyoto Protocol’s CDM is a flexible mechanism of the protocol that allows countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to fulfil some of their greenhouse gas reduction commitments through projects in the developing world.

The CERs that are issued can be used by a country to fulfil its Kyoto commitments, and companies may acquire and use CERs to reach national obligations to reduce emissions. The issuance of the CERs is the final step in a process that officially recognises the project’s greenhouse gas emission reductions under the rules of the CDM.

The CDCF partnership, made up of eight governments and 16 companies, is designed to provide vulnerable communities in developing countries an opportunity to benefit from new investments in renewable energy and green house gas reducing technology, whilst improving the welfare of the local community.

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in Latin America, with most of the poor living in rural areas where only 37% of people have access to electricity.

‘The issuance of the first CERs is another vital step in the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, as they further demonstrate the concrete way in which CDM projects can contribute to both [cost effective] mitigation of climate change and the sustainable development of the CDM project countries,’ said Warren Evans, Director of Environment at the World Bank.