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Open Letter to COP17 Presidency: CDM Coal Power Projects Undermine Efforts of UNFCCC Process

Open Letter to Mrs. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, COP 17 Presidency

6 December 2011

Durban 05 December, 2011 – COP17

To Her Excellency
Mrs. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane
COP 17/CMP 7 President

Open Letter: CDM Coal Power Projects Undermine Efforts of UNFCCC Process


Recognising the urgency of the climate crisis, the signatories to this letter wish to express their deep concern regarding coal power projects in the clean development mechanism. These projects receive millions of Euros of scarce climate finance while locking-in billions of tons of CO2 and causing severe human health and ecosystems damage. Moreover, analysis shows that CDM coal power projects are non-additional and therefore generate millions of artificial carbon credits that increase global emissions and undermine the UNFCCC process. We therefore call on you to ensure that these projects will be excluded from the CDM at COP-17.

Last week, the UN’s CDM Executive Board suspended the crediting rules for coal power projects after an investigation found that the flawed rules could lead to over-issuance of millions of carbon credits that do not reflect real and additional emission reductions. These findings were confirmed and expanded upon by an independent study[1] which found that the flaws in the methodology leading to the over-crediting are inherent to this project type. The reports conclusion stated that it is unlikely that a revised methodology could ensure that offset credits from CDM coal power projects are real and measurable.

In order to avoid hundreds of millions of carbon credits from unsustainable projects that deliver neither emission reductions, nor sustainable development benefits, Parties here in Durban should decide to exclude coal power projects from the CDM.

On behalf of the organisations listed above and civil society around the world, we call on your Excellency to work with Parties to ensure a CMP decision is taken during COP-17 that excludes coal projects from the CDM.

Such a decision is the only means of ensuring that these projects do not undermine developed countries’ mitigation commitments under the Kyoto Protocol or divert significant levels of scarce climate finance away from sustainable clean energy projects.

Yours sincerely,


Africa Europe Faith & Justice Network (AEFJN)

Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)


Ecoterra International

Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)

Green Cross International

Greenpeace International

HELIO International

International Earthpeoples

International Rivers

Society for Threatened Peoples

Tibetan Women’s Association


Ghana: Green Cross Ghana

Kenya: Kenya Young Greens
Uganda: Ecological Christian Organisation (ECO)

Argentina: Movimiento social Misiones-Argentina

Bolivia: Plataforma Boliviana Frente al Cambio Climático

Brazil: (IVAH) Instituto de Valorização Ambiental e Humana

Canada: Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA)

Colombia: Movimiento Colombiano en Defensa de los Territorios y Afectados por Represas “Ríos Vivos”

Honduras: Fundación Popol Nah Tun

Organizacion Fraternal Negra Hondureña (OFRANEH)

Mexico: En Defensa del Ambiente

Entornons Educativos A.C.

Genero y flor de Maíz A.C.

Instituto Mexicano Para el Desarrollo Comunitario, A.C. (IMDEC)

Jubileo Sur México

Maderas del Pueblo del Sureste, AC

Marea Creciente México

Revuelta Verde

Panama: Alianza para la Conservación y el Desarrollo (ACD)

Asociacion Ambientalista de Chiriqui (ASAMCHI)

Paraguay: SOBREVIVENCIA (FOE Paraguay)

Peru: Red Regional Agua y Desarrollo  Piura

USA: Center for Biological Diversity

Friends of the Earth – US

Professor Michael K. Dorsey (in personal capacity)

Sierra Club


Bangladesh: Angikar Bangladesh Foundation Participatory Research & Action Network (PRAN)
Shelter NGO

India: Centre for Education & Documentation

Centre for Environment and Development – CEAD

Context India

Matu Jansangthan

Paryavaran Mitra

Samata – Assertion for People

Smt. Nandini Satpathy Memorial Trust (SNSMT)

Water Initiative Orisha

Indonesia: CAPPA-Ecological Justice

Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR)

Lebanon: IndyACT – The League of Independent Activists

Philippines: Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)


Asian Peasant Coalition (APC)


CEE Bankwatch Network


Austria: Global 2000

Belgium: CDM Watch

CNCD – 11.11.11.

Denmark: INFORSE-Europe

WWF Denmark

Finland: Friends of the Earth Finland

Germany: BUND

Climate Concept Foundation

Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft e.V.

Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung


klima-allianz deutschland


Lernen – Helfen – Leben e.V. (LHL)

Norway: Future in our hands

Portugal: Quercus – ANCN

Republic of Kosovo: Institute for Policy Development

Russia: Ecodefense

Friends of the Siberian Forests

Sarajevo: SEE Change Net

Spain: Amigos de la Tierra España (FOE Spain)

Ecologistas en Acción

Fundacion IPADE

Sweden: FOE Sweden

UK: FOE Scotland

The Climate and Health Council


Ukraine: NGO Ecoclub


Australia: Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

Climate Action Moreland

Climate Action Network Australia

Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle



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