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CDM Watch Newsletter #11, November 2010

Dear friends,

Ahead of COP-16 which begins on 29 November, the CDM Executive Board is holding its 58th meeting from 22-26 November 2010 in Cancún. As usual, CDM Watch has taken the opportunity to read between the lines of the annotated draft agenda in order 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 of the Board’s agenda. However, because the issues under discussion are so complex, the language used is highly technical and doesn’t allow most readers to grasp what’s really at stake. The CDM Watch newsletter is an attempt to remedy this by providing a simple summary of key points and highlighting critical items.

A number of key decisions are expected to be taken at this week’s meeting. An extraordinary Methodology Panel meeting last week was expected to provide recommendations regarding how the Board should fix the fundamental flaws in the crediting methodology for HFC-23 destruction but the discussions remain shrouded in mystery and observers have been left in the dark about the outcome of the MP meeting.

The Board will also decide how to address the temporary suspension it has imposed on the credit issuance of several HFC-23 projects and whether the Ulsan Project – the oldest of the HFC-23 CDM projects – can renew its crediting period for another 7 years. In parallel, the European Commission is also expected to take action by proposing restrictions on the use of  certain industrial gas credits in the EU ETS. However, the scope of EU action against industrial gas credits is not yet known.

The EB will further discuss new rules that would require CDM host countries to hire a CDM auditor (DOE) to validate their default grid emissions factors. Given the large impact these factors have on the level of actual emission reductions, CDM Watch has commissioned a study that looks at the reliability of grid emissions factors published by the host countries. Preliminary results show that these emissions factors may be inflated in some countries either because of data availability issues or potentially because the host country is trying to maximise the number of CERs projects can generate. Stay tuned for an update!

The Board will also discuss the reviews of applications of a number of CDM projects. Among these are two projects which have applied for CDM status in order to earn carbon credits for new coal-fired power plants. CDM Watch strongly recommends the rejection of those non-additional projects.

This newsletter also gives a short overview of CDM Watch’s recent CDM Workshop for NGOs, Activists and Citizens that took place on 26 and 27 October in Brazil’s capital Brasilia.

Finally, a new report in the German magazine GEO highlights once again the problems associated with large CDM hydro dam projects. A thorough investigation of a Chinese large hydro project in Guizhou Province suggests that hundreds, if not thousands of people have been negatively affected by the project.

Table of contents

1.   D-Day for HFC-23 Projects
2.   Renewal of Ineos HFC-23 destruction project
3.   EU Action on CDM
4.   Mistaken issuance of HFC-23 credits: Human Error should be Corrected
5.   Sneak Preview: New Study on Grid Emission Factors
6.   Transparency for DOE performance on the horizon
7.   Natural Gas Projects should be rejected
8.   Round Two: Supercritical
9.   Civil Society CDM Workshop Brazil
10. GEO discloses ugly truth of CDM hydro project

Happy reading and see you in Cancún!


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