Key items unaddressed in new methodology for biomass plantations on land areas (Newsletter #2)

At the next EB meeting, the Board will consider approving the new methodology NM0278 for the “Use of Charcoal from Renewable Biomass Plantations as Reducing Agent in Pig Iron Mill in Brazil”. This methodology would allow the establishment of new biomass plantations on the following land areas:

(i)            Grasslands

(ii)           Forest plantation after its last rotation

(iii)          Degraded areas

In its last newsletter, CDM Watch encouraged the Board not to adopt this new methodology. Having taken this recommendation into account, the Board has forwarded the methodology to the Meth Panel and is now considering an updated proposal. Although the Meth Panel recommends the adoption of the methodology, CDM Watch believes that some crucial issues are still not addressed:

–        Replanting trees after the last rotation is common practice in forestry and does not lead to a “newly established plantation”, as required by the third applicability condition of the methodology. Moreover, using wood from existing forests, even if replanted after a rotation, does not lead to any emission reductions because there was no new wood supply source established.

–        The establishment of biomass plantations on grassland can result in considerable shifts of pre-project activities which are not adequately addressed in the methodology. For instance the shift of grazing can result in deforestation of other land. This on the other hand can lead to displacement of communities and other severe social consequences.

–        The methodology is inconsistent with similar approved methodologies, in particular with regard to the estimation of upstream emissions.

Action to be taken by the Board: The Board should request the Meth Panel to further work on the methodology to address the issues raised in the last CDM Watch newsletter for the 47th EB meeting.