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CDM Watch Newsletter #2, July 2009

Dear friends,

Ahead of the next CDM Executive Board meeting from 15 – 17 July 2009 in Grenada, CDM Watch is yet again reading between the lines of the annotated draft agenda. These annotations are published ahead of every Board meeting and are supposed to give a clearer overview about the Board’s agenda. However, due to the complexity of the issues, they are unfortunately kept in a highly technical language and don’t seem to aim at revealing what’s really at stake. As a response, CDM Watch adds some meaning to the language by exposing the critical items and providing recommendations.

The agenda of this upcoming meeting is busy as usual. It contains a number of important decisions to be taken, including on a proposal on various options to avoid the manipulation of the plant load factor of wind power. Board members will also consider a number of projects for which review has been requested, including a number of questionable waste energy projects that do not reduce emissions relative to alternate scenarios. Moreover, these projects do not even contribute to sustainable development but reduce employment and create environmental health hazards.

Further to the public call for input on efficiency in the operation of the CDM and opportunities for improvement which closed in May 2009, the Board will now consider an analysis of the submissions received. This occasion would be a good opportunity for Board members to reconsider the code of conduct adopted at their last meeting. According to this newly adopted code, members could “exercise personal discretion in deciding whether s/he has a real or perceived conflict”. The weak language where every Board member can make up its own definition of conflict of interest will not be enough to change the current situation. To date, only a subset of EB members from industrialized countries published conflict of interest declarations, while host country representatives openly support projects from their countries.

But eyes will be set on the EB’s willingness to address the considerable carbon leakage which is currently caused by adipic acid projects. These projects are cutting emissions from dangerous N2O. This technology has become business as usual and integral part of most adipic acid plants but the CDM is generating lucrative business. While projects in Singapore that mitigate N2O without the CDM basically stopped production due to the current downturn in the economy, four remaining CDM projects are hitting capacity records.

CDM Watch encourages the Board to address at its next meeting the following issues as a matter of priority:

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