CDM is a work in progress: UN climate chief
Clearing the air about the future of clean development mechanism (CDM), a market-based instrument under the Kyoto Protocol enabling developed countries to invest in developing countries to offset carbon emissions, UN climate change chief Christiana Figueres said, “CDM is a work in progress.”
While the roll out of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012, which sets emission reduction targets for developed countries and not developing countries, is under cloud, the discourse on CDM centres on how to make it more robust, added the visiting executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Talking to a select group of journalists in the Capital on Saturday, she said, “CDM is important because if industrialised countries have to take deeper emission cuts, they will need flexibility. The debate is how to go about CDM and evolve it into a stronger instrument to achieve larger mitigation targets.”
The UN sentiment is now more in favour of clean and efficient energy projects than large industrial gas projects. Following allegations about some companies gaming the market, the UN CDM approving authority has got more stringent with industrial gas projects that claim carbon credits for reducing planet warming hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs and nitrous oxide (N2O).
Figueres said, “The UNFCCC board is trying to make it more stringent to ensure environmental integrity. It cannot be ensured by taking up single large projects alone. CDM has to enlarge its scope and develop benchmarks in diversified areas.”
She even admitted that there is a tendency in the European Union to give preference to the least developed countries and small island developing states, but denied that there is any multilateral attempt to shift the market away from leading players like China and India to poorer countries.
The fact sheet highlights the important role that forests play in climate change, and reviews the progression of UNFCCC negotiations on forests and deforestation. It lists relevant decisions of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to stimulate action on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD), including a decision taken in 2009 on methodological and capacity building guidance for related activities. The fact sheet further lists ongoing efforts in capacity building, technical assistance and financial support for a number of enabling activities, such as improving data collection systems, institutional reforms and national monitoring systems.
The UNFCCC Secretariat has also developed a web platform for sharing experiences with ongoing efforts and demonstration activities.