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A new type of U.N. scheme is spreading clean energy technology to millions of people in India, promising to cut carbon emissions and help investors earn valuable carbon credits.

Two leading carbon offset project developers in India say the scheme offers the promise of improving livelihoods and greatly expanding the reach and potential investment returns of the U.N.’s existing Clean Development Mechanism.

The CDM allows investors to build clean-energy projects, such as wind farms and solar power stations, in developing countries and earn carbon offsets in return. But the CDM is hampered because it is based on the approval of single projects, which can take up to two years and is costly.

The expanded scheme, called program of activities (PoA), aims to allow the launch of identical emissions-reduction projects across a much wider user base in a single program, so cutting overall costs and simplifying the roll-out.

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