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CDM Watch Newsletter #10 – September 2010

Dear friends,

The 56th meeting of the CDM Executive Board has started today, 13th September 2010. As usual, CDM Watch adds some meaning to the agenda by exposing critical items and providing recommendations. The attached newsletter addresses the following issues:

1. Legitimacy of civil society participation in the CDM – The Plantar Project

The Brazilian Board Bember and Chair of the Afforestation and Reforestation Working Group Mr José Domingos Miguez has invited his fellow Board members to Brasilia for the 5th meeting this year. Which means that it will be in the Brazilian capital that the fate of the infamous Plantar project, which has given rise to extensive criticism over the past few years, will be decided. Although there are also grave concerns about the project’s negative environmental impact, Plantar is actually likely to be rejected on the grounds of deficient civil society participation, thereby setting a precedent.

2. Carbon Rush for Coal: The Fate of Fossil Fuel Carbon Credits – The Tirora and Sasan Projects

Further to a milestone decision against coal projects in the CDM at the last CDM Executive Board meeting, which saw the rejection of the Indian Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) Tata Mundra, CDM coal projects remain high up on the agenda. Despite extensive criticism of the first – and so far only – registration of a (non-additional) coal power plant under the CDM in 2009, Adani Power Maharashtra Ltd is now seeking registration for another project in Tirora, India. However, several Board members have expressed serious doubts about the project’s additionality and have asked to review the registration request of the project which will be decided upon during this week’s meeting. A decision that will certainly be followed closely by Reliance Power Limited which has just applied for registration of the 3,960 MW Sasan UMPP in Madhya Pradesh, which lays claim to almost 4 million tonnes of annual emission reductions, the clearest example thus far of a non-additional plant.

3. How Large Hydro Undermines the Principles of the CDM – The Dardanelos and Bujagali Projects

As concerns about the additionality of 17 hydro projects will be discussed as part of this week’s meeting, we take the opportunity to showcase the Dardanelos and Bujagali projects that show why large hydro projects in the CDM undermine the principles of the CDM. In addition to being clearly non-additional, the Dardanelos project has also caused outrage amongst indigenous people who occupied the site in July 2010 because it was built on an ancient burial ground.

4. The HFC-23 destruction scandal – The Ulsan Project

 

This Newsletter will also explain why a decision on the request to renew the crediting period of the HFC-23 Decomposition Project in Ulsan, South Korea can only be taken once the significant concerns about the current methodology have been addressed.

5. Board to close loophole in CDM biodiesel methodology

On a positive note, CDM Watch welcomes the news that a suggested revision to the methodology for biodiesel production has eliminated significant threats to peatlands. However, it is important to note that the revision does not yet address many other important issues, such as sustainability criteria and indirect land use impacts of biofuel production.

6. Additionality criteria back on the Board’s agenda & CDM Appeals Procedure

This Newsletter also gives a brief overview of the problem of project-by-project additionality testing and explains why a future appeals procedure must not overlook the right of stakeholders to be afforded access to redress from improper or unlawful decisions affecting the environment, as laid out in numerous international laws and agreements.

7. Launch of CDM Toolkit

Finally, CDM Watch is happy to present a new version of the CDM Toolkit. The CDM Toolkit is designed for NGOs, activists and citizens who have little or no prior experience with the CDM. It is a guide that provides an explanation of how the CDM and its tools for public participation work. The English version can be downloaded from here and other language versions will follow soon.

Happy reading!

Please note that the next CDM Watch Newsletter will be issued ahead of the 58th CDM Executive Board meeting in November 2010.

Table of Contents

1. Carbon Rush for Coal: The Fate of Fossil Fuel Carbon Credits – The Tirora and Sasan Projects
2. Legitimacy of civil society participation in the CDM – The Plantar Project
3. How Large Hydro Undermines the Principles of the CDM – The Dardanelos and Bujagali Projects
4. The HFC-23 destruction scandal – The Ulsan Project
5. Board to close loophole in CDM biodiesel methodology
6. Additionality criteria back on the Board’s agenda
7. CDM Appeals Procedure
8. Launch of CDM Toolkit

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