Today, Carbon Market Watch was protesting outside the venue of the International Coal Summit alongside CAN Europe and other organizations. A lot has been said about the outrageous decision to have an International Coal Summit at the same time with the UNCCC climate talks here in Warsaw.
The goal of staying within the 2 degrees carbon budget is highly incompatible with Polish and other European nations’ energy plans to burn more coal for meeting energy needs.
Alongside this, Carbon Market Watch was also raising the issue of climate finance for coal power plants under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The CDM was designed to bring clean and sustainable development to poor countries while enabling rich countries to achieve emissions reductions cost effectively. But in practice, the CDM allows new coal power plants to earn tradable emission credits for claimed improvements in power plant efficiency. This is unacceptable for several reasons:
- New coal power plants, no matter how efficient, undermine climate mitigation goals by locking in millions of tons of CO2 over decades to come.
- Coal’s overall health and ecological toll is staggering.
- Climate finance for coal is highly contentious because these projects re not additional – they would have been implemented regardless of the revenues from climate finance. Offset credits from CDM coal power projects lead to a net increase in global GHG levels.
Carbon Market Watch calls on Parties here in Warsaw to exclude coal power plants from the CDM!