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CDM Watch Newsletter #15, July 2011

Dear friends,

It’s been a busy two months! We participated in the CDM Practitioners Workshop on Standards organised by the UNFCCC Secretariat and attended the 61st CDM Executive Board meeting. We were also at the 6-17 June UN Climate Change Conference lobbying for a meaningful CDM appeals procedure. Delegates from 183 countries attended the meeting trying to advance the negotiations in preparation for the UN Climate Summit in Durban later this year. Not much progress was made. A few Parties, including the EU made it clear that they will only sign on to a new commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol if new market-based mechanisms are passed. We tried to learn more about the new market mechanisms, however, no one could tell us how they should work, let alone how they would coexist with the CDM, NAMAs, MRV, FSF, and LCDS (to pick just a few of ever growing number of UNFCCC acronyms).[1]

CDM Executive Board called to suspend methodology for super critical coal projects

The upcoming 62nd Executive Board Meeting is promising to be very exciting. Just as we finalised this newsletter, we found out that the CDM Methodology Panel is recommending to the CDM Executive Board to suspend the super critical coal methodology (ACM13) on the grounds that it grossly inflates baseline emissions, leading to a potentially serious over-issuance of credits. We are very happy about this because CDM Watch has long argued that super critical coal projects do not belong in the CDM. Firstly, they perpetuate the use of coal, fundamentally undermining climate mitigation goals. Secondly, all CDM coal projects we have examined are clearly non-additional (including the four already registered). The guest article by Sierra Club provides an overview on this issue. Thirdly, we have argued for a while that the methodology is flawed and leads to over-crediting. We welcome the Methodology Panel’s recommendation and strongly support a suspension of the super critical coal methodology.

HFC-23 update

The CDM Executive Board will also discuss the methodology revision for HFC-23 projects. This decision was postponed at the last meeting where there was a lot of disagreement on the topic. Much is at stake: enormous profits from HFC-23 projects have created resistance from parties to changing the rules. So there is an urgent need to address the abatement of HFC-23 in the most effective and climate-sound way. HFC-23s have also been discussed at the UN Climate Conference and at the EU. UN Parties have (again) postponed a decision of how to deal with HFC-23 emissions from new facilities (these are not currently eligible under the CDM). Last but not least, a bit of good news on HFC-23s: many EU member states have decided to extend the ban to their non-ETS sectors. (Hey Italy, Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, Romania and Lithuania, what are you waiting for?!) Are you confused about HFCs? Actually, if you are, our article will bring you up to speed on the issue.

Strengthening  human rights and sustainability in CDM projects

At its upcoming meeting, the CDM Executive Board will decide whether to register the controversial CDM project in Honduras. This project has triggered debate on how human rights violations that are linked to CDM projects could be addressed on a wider policy level. We give you a brief update and provide a follow up on the discussions about an appeals procedure that was discussed at the UN Conference. We also provide an overview of our submission (and recommendations) to the CDM Executive Board´s ‘Call For Public Inputs on Sustainability Benefits’.

The guest article by GAIA explains how CDM waste management projects can undermine the livelihoods of wastepickers. A previous article in our newsletter seriously criticised the Mtoni Landfill Gas Project in Tanzania. In this issue we publish a response from CSG (one of the project developers) because they felt that the first article was not accurate.

And let’s end with some good news! We are happy to announce that we launched our CDM Watch Network, a platform set up to encourage communication and capacity building. It aims to strengthen the role and influence of civil society in individual CDM project decisions, CDM policy discussions and wider carbon market developments. To join up, please fill out the online registration form at http://registration.en.cdm-watch.org.

Happy reading!

The CDM Watch Team

Table of Contents

1. CDM Watch Network Launched!
2. Why coal projects threaten the integrity of the CDM. Guest article by Sierra Club
3. D-day for the Aguan biogas project in Honduras linked to human rights abuses
4. A meaningful CDM Appeals Procedure
5. Sustainability Benefits of CDM Projects back on the agenda
6. CDM waste methodologies in the spotlight. Guest Article by GAIA
7. HFC-23 update: UN bodies stall, EU moves ahead

To access the full length article by the Italian project co-developer Consorzio Stabile Globus (CSG) in response to the article “Mtoni Dumpside CDM Project putting livelihoods of farmers and wastepickers at risk” written by local Tanzania journalist Mr. Finnigan Wa Simbeye (CDM Watch Newsletter April 2011) please click here.  The article had heavily criticized the project. CSG asked us to publish their response because they felt that the article was not accurate. In the interest of fairness and openness, we publish below their main comments.


[1] Clean Development Mechanism; Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action; Monitoring, Reporting and Verification; Fast Start Finance; Low Carbon Development Strategies.

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