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Press Release: Loopholes Undermine Viability of Climate Regime

Durban, South Africa. As countries are negotiating a new global climate regime, a CDM Watch paper released today calls for immediate action to close loopholes in the rules under the current climate regime. The policy brief shows that the flawed rules could easily negate the reduction pledges developed countries have made for 2020 and in the worst case, even undermine a third commitment period.

A CDM policy brief launched today shows that loopholes could add up to 27 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2020 while current pledges by developed countries amount only to about 18 billion tons.

To date, 42 developed countries have submitted pledges to reduce emissions between 2013-2020. Yet according to UNEP, the pledges amount to only about one third of what would be needed to remain on a path consistent with keeping warming below 2°C. The CDM Watch paper shows that loopholes could substantially undermine these already insufficient pledges and confirms earlier finding by UNEP and the Stockholm Environment Institute:

“We found that these loopholes could allow developed countries to increase their emissions by more than 21% over their stated pledges,” explains Sivan Kartha author of a recent study by the Stockholm Environment Institute. “If the developed country pledges are to amount to anything, the loopholes must be closed.”

The five largest loopholes in the existing negotiation framework include:

  • “Hot Air” – surplus allowances (AAUs) from the first commitment period.
  • Weak accounting rules for forestry and land use practices (LULUCF)
  • CDM credits that do not represent real emissions reductions.
  • Double counting of emissions reductions
  • Emissions from international aviation and shipping

Strong and urgent action is required in Durban at the COP 17 and beyond to effectively and efficiently close these loopholes if we want to preserve the possibility of staying within safe climate limits.

Aviation and shipping, for example, are currently not accounted for in nations’ emissions inventories. Left unmitigated, these emissions will double or triple by 2050. Binding agreements on mitigation measures are urgently needed, said Sabine Minninger from Church Development Service.

“Countries may get away with ruses and ploys in the world of politics. But nature does not go for accounting tricks. It is the future of our children we are gambling away,“ comments Anja Kollmuss from CDM Watch.


Additional Information

Contact Information

Anja Kollmss (CDM Watch) GMT +2
Email: [email protected]


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