Public participation in procedures for request and reviews for registration and issuance needed (Newsletter #7)
In the last Board meeting it was decided to launch a call for input from stakeholders on draft procedures for requests and reviews for registration of CDM project activities and issuance of CERs. Comments that were submitted until 5 March will be considered during this Board meeting. CDM Watch welcomed the opportunity to provide input to ensure greater transparency and integrity in the CDM by guaranteeing a full and meaningful opportunity for the public to participate in decisions related to CDM project registration and the issuance of CERs. Doing so is consistent not only with the mandates of Decision 2/CMP.5, but also international legal principles. Enhanced public participation will serve to improve the overall administration and integrity of the CDM project approval process and help to avoid unnecessary appeals.
Specifically, the right to request a review should be extended to the public. At a minimum, the right to request review should be provided to UNFCCC accredited NGOs, “stakeholders” as defined in the CDM Modalities and Procedures, and individuals. Providing the public with the right to request a review will help ensure that CDM projects seeking registration meet all of the applicable requirements, and that all errors, inconsistencies, or omissions in the PDD and supporting documentation are clarified and explained before the project is formally registered, thereby avoiding a future appeal. At present, the public only has the right to submit comments during the validation stage. Often, the comments relate to the lack of supporting documentation to demonstrate that the project meets the registration requirements (e.g. additionality). However, where supporting information or data have been omitted from the validation stage, the public is not provided an opportunity to review or comment on the complete documentation that provides the basis of the EB’s decision whether to register the project activity. Essentially, the public is only permitted to comment on what is essentially an incomplete application for registration, rather than allowing input one the completed application.
Action to be taken by the Board: The Board shall incorporate the following changes and additions in the draft procedures:
- The registration or issuance request should be made publicly available by announcing the request for registration on the UNFCCC CDM website and in the CDM news facility
- The announcement should specify where the request can be found, the name of the proposed CDM project activity or issuance request and the first and last day of the review period
- Along with the request for registration or issuance, the secretariat must publish on the website the accompanying required documents
- In addition, members of the public or NGOs should be notified of the request for project registration via mailing lists to which they can subscribe
- To provide adequate time to review requests, while recognizing the need to expedite the process, period for requesting review should be extended from 28 days to 42 days, and from 21 days to 28 days
- All communications between the project participants/DOE and the secretariat following notification of the request for review and related thereto be made in writing, and included in the secretariat’s “final assessment and recommendation.” The secretariat’s assessment and recommendation should then be made available to the public by posting it on the UNFCCC website and by notifying members of the public or NGOs via mailing lists to which they can subscribe
- Likewise, the Independent Technical Assessment to be prepared by an expert from the RIT should also be made publicly available by posting it on the UNFCCC website and by notifying members of the public or NGOs via mailing lists to which they can subscribe
You can download the submissions of CDM Watch and Earthjustice at http://www.cdm-watch.org/?p=763.
 The term “stakeholders” is defined as “the public, including individuals, groups or communities affected, or likely to be affected, by the proposed clean development mechanism project activity.”
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