The CDM Executive Board – News from the CDM Control Center (Watch this! #1)

The CDM Executive Board (Board) supervises the CDM and consists of 10 members and 10 alternates. Board members have considerable power and influence. Together with support staff from the UNFCCC Secretariat, they meet approximately six times a year to decide on new policies and rules for project types, to review and register new projects, and approve credit issuance. It is therefore important to watch their actions and follow their meetings carefully because many important decisions are made.

Some parts of the meetings are closed to the public but a large part of it can be watched as videostream on the internet (go here and click on ‘webcast’). The meetings are very long and it can be difficult to catch all the important things that happen. This is why CDM Watch creates a meeting summary where we analyse and highlight the most relevant decisions that were taken.

The first CDM Board meeting in 2012 was held in Bonn at the end of February where a new set of Board members convened to agree on their work plan for 2012 and 2013. You can find a list of Board members and all documents and annexes of the meeting on the UNFCCC site here and here.

The Board agreed on its CDM Two-year Business Plan 2012–2013 and on the CDM Management Plan 2012 (see EB meeting 66, annex 1 and annex 2). These plans outline what the Board, the Secretariat and the working groups will focus on in the coming years. This year’s goals include long-debated issues, such as improving the CDM’s environmental integrity and its contribution to sustainable development. Expectations are high. You can read more about the Board’s agenda for 2012 in our February newsletter article.

Environmental Integrity

The management plan foresees work to improve the additionality tool. Especially the additionality criteria for large-scale infrastructure projects need to be urgently revised. It is highly unlikely that the CDM has a decisive influence on investment decisions of large scale infrastructure projects. Such projects are usually part of strategic long term plans of governments. Decisions about public sector projects are not based on purely financial considerations and are usually not profit driven. CDM Watch will continue to push for an exclusion of clearly non-additional projects that lead to an increase in global emissions from the CDM.

Sustainable Development

The board will also work on developing “voluntary measures to highlight the co-benefits of CDM projects and PoAs” and on improving the existing rules on stakeholder consultation “to provide clear and objective criteria, thereby facilitating project assessment.” Reform in these areas is long overdue. Contribution to sustainable development has been shown to be marginal at best. Obstacles for meaningful public participation remain large and no grievance mechanisms exist. For more information see our article: Stronger Rules for Local Consultations on the Horizon. CDM Watch will be fighting for strong sustainability criteria and meaningful public participation rules.