Can the CDM Policy Dialogue Panel save the CDM? (Watch this! #1)

Three months after starting the CDM Policy Dialogue, the High-Level Panel Members are conducting meetings and trying to get their heads around the problems of the CDM, its future direction and its impact on mitigation and sustainable development. CDM Watch has launched an online discussion forum to help that all views, including those of civil society not participating at UN Conferences can be heard in this process.

Last year at COP-17 in Durban, the CDM Executive Board established the CDM Policy Dialogue to review the Kyoto Protocol’s CDM and make recommendations on how to position the mechanism going forward. From January to September this year, 12 Panel members are engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to gain a full picture of the operations, benefits and shortcomings of the CDM. A final report is expected to be released in September 2012 and will include recommendations for reform on several hot topics, including governance of the CDM, sustainable development and human rights issues. Given the urgent need for thorough reform, expectations are high but it remains to be seen if the policy dialogue panel will be able to cure the many diseases of the CDM. We see this as an opportunity to finally address those shortcomings that so far have not been resolved due to political challenges or lack of clarity of the mandates. The recommendations for reform should address all relevant decision makers, including national governments, especially for issues that cannot be sufficiently addressed at UNFCCC level.

Superheros of the CDM Reform?

Three months into this year, a research programme was agreed on the following areas: 1) focus on the mechanism’s internal workings, 2) future direction and 3) impact to mitigation and sustainable development. Also a schedule of meetings over the year was agreed on (see box on the right/left).

CDM Policy Dialogue Panel Meeting Schedule

10-11 May Stakeholder consultations, Japan
14-25 May Side event during the UNFCCC negotiations, Germany
28-29 May Meeting with the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC), Germany
29 May – 1 June Panel stakeholder meeting at the Carbon Expo Cologne, Germany
30-31 May Second Panel meeting  Frankfurt, Germany
4 June Stakeholder consultations in South Africa
20–22 June Side event at the Rio + 20, Brazil
25-26 July Third Panel meeting, South Africa
TBC Stakeholder consultations, China
TBC (early June) Stakeholder consultations, Thailand
TBC Stakeholder consultations with the private sector, UK
TBC Stakeholder consultations, US
TBC Stakeholder consultations, Latin America
Nov/Dec Side event at COP-18, final panel meeting, Qatar

Despite the CDM’s aim to contribute to sustainable development, CDM projects often have serious negative impacts on local communities and peoples. Therefore we believe this reform dialogue must be carried out in consultation with all affected stakeholders, including local communities, as a matter of priority. We encourage as many members of civil society as possible to participate at these important meetings which would otherwise be dominated by private sector and government representatives. This is the time to speak out and participate in the discussion. Both positive and negative experiences with CDM projects should be heard. Please get in touch with the CDM Watch team if you want to participate at any of the events. We’ll do our best to make sure that as many civil society representatives as possible can participate.

All Hands on Deck! Speak Out and Share Your Views With the World

To include those of you who cannot travel to any of the meetings and to enable everybody to participate in the reform dialogue, we launchedan online CDM Discussion Forum. The aim is to get an accurate picture of what’s really happening on the ground and draw on lessons learnt. Has the CDM achieved its goals? The CDM Watch Discussion Forum is a response to the lack of communication between civil society and other CDM stakeholders, such as project developers, auditors, national governments and other policy makers. For the first time, our new Discussion Forum will facilitate dialogue between policy makers and civil society to learn from first hand experiences and encourage reform. More dialogue is needed to create mitigation tools that work well and benefit the climate and people. What changes do we need to achieve these net benefits?

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