Carbon Market Watch

For fair and effective climate protection.

D-Day for HFC-23 Projects (Newsletter #11)

25 Nov 2010

At this week’s meeting, the CDM Executive Board (EB) will discuss the results of the investigation undertaken by the Methodology Panel over the past few months. The EB will likely make decisions on how to address the fundamental flaws in the current crediting methodology for HFC-23 projects. The Board will also decide whether to maintain or lift the temporary suspension it has imposed on the credit issuance of several HFC-23 projects and whether the Ulsan Project – the oldest of the HFC-23 CDM projects – can renew its crediting period for another 7 years.

At the request of the Executive Board an extraordinary Methodology Panel meeting was convened on 15-16 November to prepare final recommendations to the Board on the HFC-23 issues. However, its deliberations remain shrouded in mystery and observers have been left in the dark regarding the outcomes of the MP meeting.

Given the significant flaws in the crediting methodology and the potential for considerable over-estimation of emission reductions, CDM Watch believes that methodology AM0001 must be put on hold with immediate effect. The Board should issue a request to the Meth Panel to swiftly prepare a revised methodology which addresses all the pertinent issues. CDM Watch would like to point out that this would NOT set a precedent since the Board has put methodologies on hold in the past (ACM0005, AM0001, AM0006 and AM0016) in situations where the environmental integrity of the CDM was at risk and where a revision of the methodology required more time.

If the EB fails to take drastic action to correct the perverse incentives for HFC-23 projects it runs the risk of further undermining its reputation and that of the CDM as a whole. It would call into question whether the EB members are truly willing and able to strengthen the environmental integrity of the very mechanism that they are employed to police. As such, CDM Watch sees this case as a litmus test for the credibility of the CDM as a whole and will continue to carefully follow and report on the issue.

For more information about the revision request, including press releases and background papers see http://www.cdm-watch.org/?cat=4.

Also see the  International Rivers blog on “Kyoto’s Carbon Offsetting Moves from Tragedy to Farce” and NRDC’s blog on “The Curious Case of HFC-23”.