Oh Aarhus Wherefore Art Thou?

13 June 2011

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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