Tag: CDM

First Week Wrap Up

ECO is pleased that parties finally managed to agree on agendas last week. (Imagine how much quicker it could have been if agenda discussions were held transparently in plenary, as opposed to shenanigans occurring behind closed doors). This week Parties must make up for lost time – and convince everyone that another intersessional would be productive.  After all, there is much work to be done between now and December so that Durban can successfully lay the basis for a fair, ambitious, and binding global climate change regime.

Essential to Durban’s success is securing a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.  Intrinsically linked is the binding outcome under the LCA, where Parties now need to discuss the substantive issues. Our ultimate objective must be a legally binding architecture, which is fair and ambitious.

Last week, the list of issues under shared vision began to resemble a bag of assorted cookies.  ECO suggests focusing on the agreed global goal with peak year, and only including issues essential for these discussions – such as effort sharing.  Agreement of a mid-term goal of -80% by 2050 and a 2015 peak year for emissions must be the aim.

On mitigation, some issues may look technical but are in reality political. This week ECO suggests focusing on the following three areas required to address the gigatonne gap: (i) clarifying assumptions; (ii) closing loopholes; and (iii) preparing to move beyond the high end of the current pledges by Durban. ECO assumes parties remain serious in their commitment to 1.5/2°C – you are aren’t you?

This week also offers opportunities for LULUCF.  The re-analysis of this issue as a significant loophole in the mitigation workshops could allow Annex I land and forests to contribute to genuine emissions reductions.  And technical discussions on force majeure provisions for forests could genuinely reflect extraordinary circumstances.  Or, if Annex I parties are up to their usual tricks, could this be yet another way to avoid accounting for emissions?

Parties should also take the opportunity to draft a CDM appeals procedure to grant affected communities and peoples access to justice.  And this week parties should move closer to  a  decision

to address climate forcing HFC in cooperation with the Montreal Protocol and exclude all new HCHC-22 facilities from the CDM.

The two groups on REDD+ (in the LCA and in SBSTA) got off to a good start last week. In this second week, ECO anticipates significant progress on both reference levels and information on safeguards, hopefully followed by expert meetings prior to Durban.

Adaptation negotiators should press ahead on substance to make the Cancún Adaptation Framework operational in Durban.  Parties should strengthen the role of the Adaptation Committee to promote coherence in adaptation, and to ensure meaningful stakeholder participation in its operations.  Furthermore, this week must see parties launch the activities of the work programme on loss and damage.

With the end of the fast start finance period only one year after Durban and no indication of how rapidly public finance will be scaled up from the $10 billion per year currently committed, parties need to start discussions here in Bonn on effort sharing, scaling up finance, and on new innovative public sources such as raising finance from international transport.  For this to happen, the US and its Umbrella Group allies need to stop blocking the discussion of sources and scale of long-term finance.

ECO has two requests for technology negotiators over the next week. First, fill up the nominations of the Technology Executive Committee. Secondly, decide on the terms of reference and likely locations of the Climate Technology Centre and Networks to maintain balance of adaptation and mitigation technology.

Among other issues that should be addressed, Parties need to deal with technical issues. ECO is waiting eagerly for some technical workshops and expert meetings. In the coming months, technical experts should make progress on technical issues such as biennial reports, reporting on support, IAR/ICA, REDD safeguards, etc.  These discussions must feed into the negotiating process.

Given the uncertainty over whether another intersessional will take place, the next five days will determine whether Parties will be able to secure an effective and balanced outcome of COP 17 in Durban. Parties should make the best use of this time and ensure both political and technical issues get addressed.

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Oh Aarhus Wherefore Art Thou?

Apparently, Parties didn’t get the message from ECO’s “CDM ‘Appeal’ for Justice” on Saturday. In an SBI informal, where Parties discussed the CDM appeals procedure, ECO is reliably informed that China pressed to shut stakeholders out of the discussions. ECO is now calling on Parties to stand strong and support our call for justice: project-affected peoples, communities and their civil society representatives must have the right to appeal CDM Executive Board decisions. Will someone please throw us a lifeline?

The European Union has indicated that it will consider saving this drowning child by “exploring” the expansion of the right of appeal to “those who have a right to be consulted during the local stakeholder consultation process.” This statement alarms ECO. This discussion is not about harmonizing rules for the bendiness of bananas but about public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. This implicates its obligations under the Aarhus Convention, which is legally binding on 44 Parties to the UNFCCC, including the European Union.  The Convention links environmental with human rights and gives Parties obligations regarding access to information, public participation and access to justice. If the European Union is serious about its pledge for government accountability and environmental protection, it will need to reconsider whether “exploring” is enough to save this drowning child called justice

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No Nuclear for Mitigation

Nuclear power has long been promoted as one of the tools to mitigate climate change. Japan has always been one of the biggest promoters of this theory and has not only tried to get nuclear power accepted in the CDM, but has also developed its own “bilateral crediting mechanism,” to include nuclear. ECO assumed that Japan would change this position after the Fukushima disaster, so we were taken aback by Japan's intervention in the flexible mechanisms discussion, stating that the CDM should be open to all technologies, including nuclear.

New nuclear power plants require massive public subsidies to go forward – monies that would be much better invested in the development and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The nuclear energy industry has   been   pushing   COP   after   COP to promote their technology as a tool for carbon reduction, but even a massive four-fold expansion of nuclear power by 2050 would provide at best a 4% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Against the background of the Fukushima tragedy and all the risks inherent in nuclear energy, ECO finds it amazing that countries still keep promoting nuclear energy as a mitigation option.  There’s no point in trying to jump out of the climate frying pan by jumping into the nuclear fire.  That would be like trying to cure one’s addiction to smoking by taking up crack cocaine.  After the massive demonstrations in Japan, and the German and Swiss decisions to phase out nuclear energy, ECO calls upon Japan to become a leader in ensuring the exclusion of nuclear power from the CDM.

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Fossil of the Day Awards - Bonn - June 11, 2011

Fossil of the Day - Bonn 2011

Japan wins first place fossil and the second place fossil goes to, Well, We Aren’t
Sure.

 
First Place Fossil is awarded to Japan. Today Japan reiterated their position of
supporting the inclusion of nuclear facilities to CDM. Today, June 11th, the three-
month anniversary since the tragic earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster,
saw thousands of Japanese people demonstrating against nuclear energy in more than
100 cities all across Japan.  It is hard to believe that Japan has not changed its position
of including nuclear facilities into CDM, even after this tragic event. We urge Japan
to listen to its own people and come up with a new position right away. Japan can
actually lead the discussion and persuade others to exclude nuclear from the CDM!
 
The second placed fossil goes to...well we aren't exactly sure.  Flying in the face of
enhanced NGO participation, an important focus of this session, and the mantra of
transparency, 'an unknown Party or group of Parties' approached the Chair to block
the valiant efforts of Ambassador De Alba to open the LCA informal on legal issues
on Friday afternoon.  Not only do we need fair, ambitious and legally binding efforts
to save our dear planet, those discussions should take place in an open and transparent
manner.  Just as we have supported the call for Parties not intending to commit to a
second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to come clean with their intentions,
we expect the same level of transparency with respect to legally binding intentions
under the LCA - and that starts with opening the informal to observers.  For your non-
transparent ways, this Party or group of Parties gets an Anonymous Fossil. Is anyone
willing to accept the award?
 
 
About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of roughly
700 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and
individual action to limit human0induced climate change to ecologically sustainable
levels. www.climatenetwork.org   
 
About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate
talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations
climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action
Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress
in the negotiations in the last days of talks.  

 
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Fossil of the Day Awards - Bonn - June 11, 2011

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              11 June 2011
Bonn, Germany
 
Contact:
David Turnbull
dturnbull@climatenetwork.org
USA: +12023163499
Germany: +49(0)2523657307
 
Japan wins first place fossil and the second place fossil goes to, Well, We Aren’t
Sure.
 
First Place Fossil is awarded to Japan. Today Japan reiterated their position of
supporting the inclusion of nuclear facilities to CDM. Today, June 11th, the three-
month anniversary since the tragic earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster,
saw thousands of Japanese people demonstrating against nuclear energy in more than
100 cities all across Japan.  It is hard to believe that Japan has not changed its position
of including nuclear facilities into CDM, even after this tragic event. We urge Japan
to listen to its own people and come up with a new position right away. Japan can
actually lead the discussion and persuade others to exclude nuclear from the CDM!
 
The second placed fossil goes to...well we aren't exactly sure.  Flying in the face of
enhanced NGO participation, an important focus of this session, and the mantra of
transparency, 'an unknown Party or group of Parties' approached the Chair to block
the valiant efforts of Ambassador De Alba to open the LCA informal on legal issues
on Friday afternoon.  Not only do we need fair, ambitious and legally binding efforts
to save our dear planet, those discussions should take place in an open and transparent
manner.  Just as we have supported the call for Parties not intending to commit to a
second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to come clean with their intentions,
we expect the same level of transparency with respect to legally binding intentions
under the LCA - and that starts with opening the informal to observers.  For your non-
transparent ways, this Party or group of Parties gets an Anonymous Fossil. Is anyone
willing to accept the award?
 
 
About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of roughly
700 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to promote government and
individual action to limit human0induced climate change to ecologically sustainable
levels. www.climatenetwork.org   
 
About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate
talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations
climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action
Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress
in the negotiations in the last days of talks.  
 

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CDM "Appeal" for justice

Over the past few days, many Parties have acknowledged the need for greater public participation in the UNFCCC process – now it is time to translate words into actions. Parties are currently negotiating who should have the right to appeal against decisions of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board.

ECO was quite content with the CMP5 mandate to establish procedures for considering appeals from “stakeholders directly involved” in the design, approval or implementation of CDM activities or proposed CDM activities. Why? Because obviously, such an appeals procedure would be available to indigenous peoples and local communities that are adversely affected (displacement, loss of livelihood) and civil society groups that monitor CDM projects. Duh! Of course, the thought of adversely affected communities having the right to appeal a project scared the heck out of project developers. They put their lobbying machine into high gear to push for the exclusion of civil society by limiting the appeals procedure to project developers with rejected projects!

Since its inception the CDM has come under intense criticism for violating the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities affected by CDM projects. Now the CDM has an opportunity to be more accountable, by developing an appeals procedure that gives civil society (and most importantly, directly affected peoples and communities) a voice. ECO is dismayed by the fact that this is even being questioned.

At a moment when Parties are considering denying project-affected peoples and communities the right to appeal flawed CDM projects, ECO believes that it is time for a quick reality check. For example, indigenous peoples and local communities (clearly the stakeholders with the most to lose) often complain that they are not properly consulted as part of the local stakeholder consultation, a legal requirement in the CDM validation process. And they have absolutely no recourse. Excluding these directly affected stakeholders from the appeals procedure would deny them their human rights to public participation and access to justice. But what ́s worse, it would create further opportunities for gaming, fraud, and corruption by project participants, and disincentives to promote compliance with the CDM procedures.

To help ensure that social and environmental impacts of CDM projects are effectively addressed, ECO insists that it is essential to include indigenous peoples, local communities, and civil society groups in the definition of “stakeholders directly involved” in CDM activities. This is not an invitation to a flood of appeals against every single CDM project. This is a call for a legitimate process that provides a means of recourse in cases where rules related to environmental integrity and public participation were breached, or DOEs or project participants have violated the CDM rules. My dear delegates, this is a call for justice.

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NAMA Dreaming / Dreaming of NAMAs

Do you sometimes wake up at night, thinking: I wish I knew what a credited NAMA was...? (If you do, you’ve clearly been here far too long - ECO recommends a cup of herbal tea and a walk along the Rhine.) Sadly, you are not alone. The wonderfully fuzzy clouds called NAMAs (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions) are taking shape without anyone really knowing how the three oft-mentioned types of NAMAs should co-exist. By this ECO means: ‘unilateral’ NAMAs, mitigation action implemented solely by developing countries; ‘supported’ NAMAs, mitigation action financially supported by donor countries; and ‘credited’ NAMAs, actions that, like the CDM, result in some form of trade-able carbon credits. Seems distinct enough, but upon further reflection, ECO has some nagging questions about credited NAMAs:

- What role do parties envisage for the new market-based mechanisms in a NAMA framework?

-What role will CDM play? Will new mechanisms be complementary to CDM or will they replace CDM?

– Who will             ensure the         quality and accounting of offsets coming from any new market mechanisms?

Some things we already know: The different NAMAs have to be clearly defined to avoid double counting of the emission reductions and the finance provided. A governance structure is required to ensure sound MRV so that we can truly move towards closing the perilous emissions gap we are facing. It is essential that new mechanisms will not lead to greater offsetting opportunities for developed countries. Clearly, there is a lot to figure out before we will know if NAMAs are going to be a troubling dream that resolves by morning or a nightmare we never wake up from.

By the way, do you ever wonder (sometime in the hazy night) how “Low Carbon Development Plans” relate to NAMAs?!

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