Carbon Market Watch

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CDM Policy Dialogue’s final report – Countdown is on! (Newsletter #20)

12 Jul 2012

The high-level panel on the CDM Policy Dialogue is preparing its final report which is expected to be published in September 2012. CDM Watch has closely followed the consultation process and is worried that the final report will be heavily influenced by business lobbyists. CDM Watch calls on the Policy Dialogue members to give an honest review of the CDM and not to shy away from unpleasant conclusions. This article provides a range of arguments why the CDM in its current form is not a solution to climate change or to sustainable development. This needs to be addressed.

The high-level panel on the CDM Policy Dialogue is currently preparing its final report which is expected to be published in September 2012. Ten panel members have been assigned to take stock of the lessons learned in the CDM and recommend how to position the CDM going forward. The final report will be submitted to the CDM Executive Board and published in a report immediately afterwards. The report is expected to provide recommendations for the future design and operation of the CDM, as well as to inform negotiations on related issues, including potential new market-based mechanisms.

With this mandate, the ten panel members are preparing this report on the basis of a combination of stakeholder meetings and a research programme that is collecting data and input on specific issues.

CDM Watch has closely followed the consultation process and has provided input from a civil society perspective wherever possible. Since most panel members had little prior experience with the CDM, balanced input from a wide range of stakeholders was therefore essential for the opinion-forming process for panel members.

However, limited opportunities for stakeholder meetings and inadequate support for travel made it almost impossible for civil society representatives to participate in stakeholder meetings that were heavily dominated by business lobbyists. In order to better facilitate dialogue, CDM Watch organised a side event during the intersessional climate change conference in Bonn. This provided the opportunity for civil society representatives to highlight lessons learnt from CDM projects to panel members and lay out a series of specific recommendations. You can download the summary report here.

Many issues need to be addressed in the final report, in particular the negative impacts of offsetting in the absence of climate net benefits, which CDM project types are fit to contribute to a low carbon economy and how to provide incentives for developing countries to increase their own emission reductions. With new market mechanisms on the horizon, Panel members should also assess how the environmental integrity of co-existing market mechanisms can be ensured. With more than 5,000 CDM projects in the pipeline – projects that will be operational for many years to come, CDM Watch also urges Panel members to improve stakeholder involvement and address the need for a grievance mechanism in the CDM that will also operate during the operational phase of CDM projects.

With the decision to focus the Panel’s work on developing recommendations about the future of the CDM, CDM Watch believes that these recommendations should be addressing all relevant CDM decision makers, including COP/MOP, the CDM Executive Board as well as demand-side decision makers for issues that may not be sufficiently addressed at UNFCCC level. So, honorable Panel Members: don’t disappoint us!