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Key safeguards in the future CDM appeals procedure (Newsletter #8)

In Decision 2/CMP.5, the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol requested the Board to design – following consultation with stakeholder – procedures for appeals to challenge decisions by the CDM Executive Board and DOE performance[1]. Therefore, the Board lodged a call for inputs from stakeholders and will discuss the input received for the first time during this 54th Board meeting.

The inclusion of an appeals procedure in the CDM project approval process presents a crucial opportunity for the Board to promote enhanced accountability, legitimacy and public trust in and acceptance of the CDM as a valid tool for reaching its goals under the Kyoto Protocol – namely, mitigating global climate change while promoting sustainable development. It is likewise an opportunity to introduce coherence and quality control into the Board decision-making process.

As such, CDM Watch and other environmental organizations have submitted responses[2] to highlight key safeguards that must be included in the appeal procedure in order to promote transparency, accountability, and consistency in the CDM project approval process, improve the efficacy of the CDM as a tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and allow for more meaningful public input into the Board’s decision-making – something that is woefully lacking under the current procedures.

Environmental organisations strongly recommend that the Board adopt procedures that meet the following basic criteria:

  • The right of stakeholders to appeal must be implemented as broadly as possible to address the wider impacts that flawed CDM projects have on global climate change and sustainable development.
  • Stakeholders must be afforded the right to request a review of registration or issuance requests in order to avoid unnecessary appeals.
  • Appeals must be allowed on EB decisions to approve a project following review, not just rejections, and include both procedural and substantive violations.
  • Appeals must be allowed on EB decisions whenever there is probable cause that a DOE may not have performed its duties in accordance with the rules or requirements of the CMP or EB.
  • The time within which appeals may be brought should not be limited where new, material facts come to light indicating that a CDM project does not meet the core requirements.
  • An accurate and complete record upon which the appeal is based must be compiled and made publicly available.
  • Rules, procedures, and codes of conduct and ethics must be put in place to ensure that the appeals body is independent, competent, impartial, and accountable.

Action to be taken by the Board: Because of the substantial evidence indicating that a significant number of CDM projects do not meet their requirements or actually mitigate global climate change, the Board should look upon the creation of a public appeals process as a welcome opportunity to address accountability and integrity issues.

[1] Decision 2/CMP 5, Further Guidance on the Clean Development Mechanism

[2] Submission by CDM Watch, Earthjustice and Transparency International available at; Submission by the Climate Action Network (CAN) available at; Submission by Paryavaran Mitra available at


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