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CDM Watch Newsletter #9, July 2010

Dear friends,

The CDM Executive Board will hold its 55th meeting from 26-30 July 2010 in Bonn. As usual, CDM Watch takes the opportunity to read between the lines of the annotated draft agenda to bring some transparency to the decisions of the Executive Board. The annotations to the draft agenda 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 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 critical items and providing recommendations.

Above all, this upcoming meeting will be marked by discussions on a revision request for HFC-23 projects submitted by CDM Watch earlier this year. The request highlights that the current rules would create perverse incentives for plant operators to artificially increase HCFC-22 production, from which HFC-23 is an unwanted byproduct. In light of the significance of these findings and the potential for considerable over-estimation of emission reductions, CDM Watch believes that the methodology must be put on hold with immediate effect.

Within the context of this revision request, the Board will also address the first request to renew the crediting period of a HFC-23 destruction project. The HFC-23 Decomposition Project in Ulsan, South Korea, operated by the Ineos Group has generated 1,4 Mio credits over the first crediting period and is planning to cash in on another 2,2 Mio credits from 2010 to 2017. CDM Watch calls on the Board to freeze any decision on this project and to request the Meth Panel to urgently conduct the required investigation and to swiftly prepare a revised methodology which addresses the issues with no further delay.

CDM Watch also recognizing that in cases where substantial economic interest is at stake, such as in the upcoming discussions on the HFC-23 revision request, Board members face particular pressure under current CDM rules. Therefore, CDM Watch recommends that all Board members publish “documents related to conflicts of interest” ahead of this next meeting and strongly recommends a number of Board members and alternates to leave the room when the HFC-23 revision request will be on the agenda.

In order to put these discussions into context, this newsletter also includes information about how incredible profits made by HFC-23 projects result in overproduction of cheap HCFC-22, and undermine global efforts under the Montreal Protocol to phase out HCFCs and move industry toward more environmentally friendly refrigerants.

Board members will also make a landmark decision on whether to reject the 4000-MW super-critical coal plant owned by Costal Gujarat Power that claims to reduce 2,6 Mio tonnes of emissions for the next 10 years by replacing domestic with imported coal.

Another project currently under review is the Metro Clark Landfill Gas Capture project. A guest comment by “Focus on the Global South” explains that this project is not additional because gas control and recovery system are essentially necessary for it to legally operate in the Philippines and are therefore baseline. Following is a brief comment on including yet another contaminated substance into AM0025 that allows waste incineration and explains why burning sludge as a fuel is a bad idea.

Within the context of the recent DOE rating by WWF, CDM Watch makes several comments related to the disrespect that TÜV SÜD brings to civil society and recommends rejecting the Plantar project 2569 in order to set a signal that civil society participation in the CDM must be taken seriously. Moreover, it suggests that documents related to spot checks that lead to a suspension be publicly accessible.

Happy reading!

Table of contents

  1. Perverse incentives of HFC-23 projects
  2. Renewal of Ineos HFC-23 destruction project
  3. Who has a conflict of interest in the HFC-23 case?
  4. Digression: Clash of the Conventions
  5. The folly of CDM subsidies to replace domestic with imported coal
  6. Guest comment: CDM landfill project under review undermines Philippine solid waste law
  7. Revising AM0025: Burning sludge as a fuel is a bad idea
  8. TÜV SÜD in the spotlight despite suspension
  9. Key safeguards in the CDM appeals procedure

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