Love for CDM could continue into 2015 and beyond… But this time who loves it, developing or developed?

by Surya Karki

According to Annual Report of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, it has come through another difficult year. The main challenge facing the CDM remains the low level of demand for the certified emission reductions produced by CDM registered project activities and programmes of activities, due ultimately to Parties’ level of ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And as there wasn’t a mechanism to address the overflow and low demand of carbon credits, the overwhelming supply of CER units has driven the demand and carbon prices down.

The report also states that the number of CDM projects carried out has dropped drastically in comparison to 2005 levels. Since its establishment, the CDM has 7300 projects registered in 94 countries, making it the only mechanism to have implemented projects in several countries. Among the 7300 CDM projects, many have been implemented in countries that already attract the lion’s share of foreign direct investment (FDI), like China and India among others.

While the “C” in CDM stands for “Clean,” the definition of this word is so vague that even “clean coal” projects can be part of it. The astonishing fact is that most CDM credits are made up of “clean coal” project credits. Thus, through this mechanism there is no actual CO2 emission reduction. The “reduction” in CO2 gases from CDM projects, which are counted as credits towards mitigation commitment for the implementing country, is a demonstration of false mitigation commitments by Annex I parties. Read more…

Days 12 & 13 Policy Updates: Muddles and Huddles

by Earth in Brackets team and friends

Negotiations in Warsaw carried on essentially non-stop from Wednesday morning until Saturday night, with many delegates not sleeping for at least the final 48 hours. There were three concurrent issues being negotiated over the course of Friday and Saturday: finance, loss and damage, and the ADP draft text. Finance and loss and damage were in closed contact groups all day and night. ADP had two separate drafting sessions that were open to observers.

Huddle over ADP

Huddle over ADP

At 5am on Friday, a new draft text of the ADP was issued. By 11am a drafting session was convened which ran to 3pm. Up for discussion was a draft text that had been released at 5am that morning. Read more…

Days 10-11 Policy Updates: The Storm Before the Storm

By Nathan Thanki with input from Katie O’Brien, Anjali Appadurai, and others. Photos by Rachel Wells

In short, the negotiations are falling apart. We say that with utmost respect for the work being done by our negotiator allies and friends among civil society observers. It is not their fault. Nor is it the fault of the UNFCCC per se, though its Secretariat must shoulder some blame. The negotiations themselves are only as good as Parties make them. Some Parties, notably the US, Australia, Canada, and Japan, heavily influenced by a massive fossil fuel lobby, are making the negotiations bad enough for 800 members of civil society to walk out of the talks. Forming a broad coalition of brand environment and development NGOs, youth groups, Trade Unions, indigenous people, and members of social movements, we solemnly marched out at 2pm on Thursday wearing t-shirts stating “#cop19 polluters talk, we walk” and “#volveremos, we will be back.” They did not condemn the entire UN process, focusing on the irredeemable failure of this COP in particular, and promised to spend the next year strengthening and linking their movements and ramping up their national efforts before returning to the COP in Lima next winter. Read more…

Walking through the plenary hallway
Thru the plenary
Civil society walk-out
The stairs
The crew
Photo 13-11-2013 14 35 03

Press ConferenceThe Earth in Brackets delegation




“You have never seen a coalition like this before”

by Lara Shirley and J. Taggart Wass

Today, in an unprecedented show of solidarity between all elements of civil society, there was a massive walkout of COP19.  The action involved 800 members of civil society protesting the complete lack of progress in this year’s conference. The move was a culmination of many different frustrations: the corporate takeover of the UNFCCC space, the continued disregard for a fair climate deal by members of the developed world (most notably the U.S., Canada, Japan and Australia), and the overall frustration that it has now been 20 years since negotiations began and still there is no deal.  A binding theme throughout was the frustration across civil society at our participation being marginalized by the Secretariat.  These issues combined and brought unity to organizations across a whole spectrum of social movements; environmental, labor, women, development, youth and climate justice. Read more…