Criticism of Sweden’s carbon credits purchase

REPORT | 1 November 2012

This report examines one of the many projects that Sweden will be buying carbon credits from in the future – a hydropower project in northern India.

The project is partly financed by a fund administered by the World Bank. The field study has raised questions about the project’s contribution to local sustainable development and its compliance with the additionality requirements. The project’s operator Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited (SJVNL) explained that the project had been planned since 1997, and that the preparatory work to widen roads and land acquisition had started before the application was submitted to the CDM Executive Board. Such information creates uncertainty about the project’s additionality.

During a visit to the project site it was also revealed that there were numerous problems concerning health and safety, as well as the working conditions of the many migrant workers who are temporary employees. Many villagers and small-scale farmers near the river also stated that they had not received adequate compensation from the project company and that there had not been clear information about the negative effects of the project.

This study highlights three problems with Sweden’s commitment to carbon offsetting: a lack of accountability in certain multilateral projects, as well as doubts about additionality and sustainable development.

Made in collaboration with: Diakonia and Church of Sweden