Projects under the CDM are awarded emission credits provided it is demonstrated that they have reduced emissions below a "business as usual" baseline (ENDS Report 344, pp 29-34 ). Independent validation of project design, and verification of developers' claimed emission reduction figures, are critical to the scheme's credibility.
In late March, the CDM Executive Board decided to accredit Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Japan Quality Assurance (JQA). A further 21 organisations are at various stages in seeking accreditation.
DNV can now validate the design of renewable energy, energy efficiency and landfill gas capture projects. Einar Telnes, DNV's technical director, said that "the accreditation marks an important milestone in DNV's efforts to become a world leading provider of climate change services."
The accreditation means that the first CDM projects could be formally registered with the Executive Board by mid-summer. The Board - which last year signalled that it would take a tough line on assessing "additionality" - has now approved a total of 11 project methodologies.
Credits from CDM projects can be used to meet governments' emission targets under the Protocol or, under a newly agreed "linking" Directive, to meet companies' caps under the EU emissions trading scheme (see pp 52-53 ).