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CDM Review (Watch This! #5)

 By Eva Filzmoser, Carbon Market Watch

By Eva Filzmoser, Carbon Market Watch


After the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol has ended, countries have decided to review the modalities and procedures of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) this year. Changes to these underlying rules of the functioning of the CDM will be adopted at the next UNFCCC conference in Poland at the end of this year.

This means that amongst others, the CDM Executive Board, project developers and delegations from countries around the world are currently putting together ideas on what they would like to see changed. Despite the uncertain future of the CDM, we believe that it is important to address its flaws and improve its rules for the following reasons:

  • Its rules have served and will continue to serve as a blueprint for other carbon market mechanisms. Because the CDM is used as a reference by many other emerging schemes, it is vitally important that its rules are well -designed and have environmental and social integrity.
  • Despite the imbalance between supply and demand, a significant number of credits are expected to be used by Parties that plan to join a second commitment period. If these credits come from projects with poor environmental integrity, the CDM will continue to undermine the already weak emissions reduction targets.
  • There are more than 6.000 projects registered and we need to make sure that local communities living at the vicinities of these projects have means to raise concerns throughout the project duration.

All States as well as UN institutions are bound by human rights obligations. As such, climate change actions – in this case, CDM projects – must be designed, implemented, and monitored in a way that respects the full and effective enjoyment of human rights, including the rights of access to information, public participation, and access to justice.

Given that the CDM rules to not yet fulfill these requirements, the human rights and climate change working group, with the support of several network members prepared a submission focusing on the need to (1) establish institutional safeguards; (2) strengthen local community and civil society participation; and (3) provide a means to consider and address local stakeholders’ concerns. You can download the document here.

In addition, Carbon Market Watch as well as many other organisations has made demands related to other changes needed:

  • Fundamentally reform additionality requirements
  • Shorten length of crediting periods
  • Ensure that all CDM projects uphold human rights
  • Improve the CDM’s contribution to sustainable development
  • Strengthened civil society participation in the CDM process
  • Address conflict of interest of DOEs
  • Establish a communications channel for case specific matters
  • Set-up a grievance mechanism
  • Improve the constitution and conduct of the CDM Executive Board and supporting bodies

The submission can be downloaded here.


Read more from Watch This! NGO Voices on Carbon Markets #5


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