Some politicians may be accused of dragging their heels when it comes to dealing with climate change, but you can't say members of the United Nations' Clean Development Mechanism's executive board aren't clocking in the hours.
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), an emissions trading scheme under the Kyoto Protocol worth $33 billion last year according to the World Bank, allows companies and countries to outsource their greenhouse gas reduction efforts by investing in clean energy projects in emerging countries like China and India, where making emissions cuts costs less.
Projects are submitted to the CDM for registration and a staff of over 100 examine and scrutinize each one to ensure environmental integrity.
The whole scheme is supervised by a 20-member executive board, chaired by Lex de Jonge of the Netherlands' environment ministry.
"The members are all employed by governments and assigned to the board. They don't get a salary from the UN but they receive a daily subsistence allowance to pay for meals, hotel and travel costs," de Jonge said at the Reuters Climate and Alternative Energy Summit.