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The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows industrial countries to execute emission-reduction projects in developing countries. These projects are called “CDM projects.”

CERs are emission credits generated by CDM projects certified by the United Nations (UN). CERs are the highest-quality certificates in the market and therefore can also be used to meet the reduction requirements in the framework of the EU emissions trading. One CER corresponds to a ton of carbon.

The CERs are a standardized instrument to offset emissions. They can be bought both on the primary market (buying directly from the party that has created the reduction) as well as on the secondary market (buying from an intermediary).

The CDM registry, a standardized electronic database, was created to make the accurate accounting for issuance, holding, and acquisition of CERs a transparent process.

Additionally there are also the national registries. Together these registries control the CER stocks and execute the trades by moving the amount of CERs traded from the seller’s account to the buyer’s account.

Every transaction is reviewed by the UNFCCC to ensure that they abide to the regulations. The registries are public and can be assessed online.

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