UN targets carbon credit backlog
Clearing a backlog of credits and convincing small countries they can benefit from the UN's carbon offsetting scheme will be amongst the top priority as the Clean Development Mechanism's (CDM) executive board gathers in Bonn, Germany this week to discuss the future of the scheme.
The meeting will also see Martin Hession, head of global carbon markets at the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, appointed new chair of the group, which is responsible for the development of the popular UN-backed carbon offsetting scheme.
Top of Hession's agenda will be involving larger numbers of small developing countries and islands in the CDM, which allows rich countries to meet emissions targets established under the Kyoto Protocol by funding carbon-cutting projects in developing nations.
Speaking as part of a media webcast, board member Asterio Takesy said the group would aim to streamline application processes for projects and better promote the benefits associated with CDM projects. "The issue is (getting) bodies on the ground who know about the CDM," he said. "At the end of the day, it is (about) accessing the resources and benefits of the CDM."
The board is also keen to tackle a backlog of applications to enter the scheme from new projects and has set a goal of clearing the backlog by July, when the 62nd meeting of the board is scheduled.
New issuance procedures, called methodologies, are also likely to be considered, but former chair Lex de Jonge told news agency Reuters that it would be difficult to simplify procedures ahead of the July meeting.
"This plan is ambitious and I wonder whether it is realistic," he said. "It means all the time and resources of the methodology panel would have to focus on this - trying to eliminate [the backlog] in a couple of months."
De Jonge suggested November would be a more achievable target, but current panel member Akihiro Kuroki disagreed.
"We must look at the backlog of issuances this year. I think it is better to maintain the more ambitious target of the 62nd meeting," Kuroki said.
Over the next two years, the board has targeted improving the CDM's efficiency, integrity and global reach and feels there is more it can be doing to get countries that currently have relatively low emissions output into the scheme.
In related carbon market news, the European Commission has given the go-ahead for Spain's EU ETS registry to resume operations on 16 February, following the spate of cyber attacks.