CDM EB 69 Press Highlights - CDM Board paves way for voluntary cancellation of certified emission reductions

CDM EB 69 Press Highlights - CDM Board paves way for voluntary cancellation of certified emission reductions

In a month that saw issuance of a milestone billionth certified emission reduction (CER), the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has taken a decision that could open up a new source of demand for the credits.

Project participants and others engaged in the CDM will soon be able to voluntarily cancel their CERs into an account in the CDM registry at the UNFCCC secretariat in Bonn, Germany. This could encourage expanded use of CERs for voluntary emission reduction, such as by companies using credits as part of a social responsibility programme, by event organizers wanting to offset their emissions, or even by individuals wishing to reduce their carbon footprint.

“The units created by the CDM are for use by countries with an emission reduction commitment under the Kyoto Protocol. Now, thanks to this decision, in time CERs could be readily available to virtually anyone,” said Board Chair Maosheng Duan. “Companies and many individuals are eager to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Having access to CERs will help them to do that, with confidence, knowing that the units represent true emission reductions.”

Also at its 69th meeting, the Board heard from the authors and received the final report of the High-Level Panel on the CDM Policy Dialogue. The dialogue, conducted by a select, independent panel, was launched by the then Chair of the Board, Martin Hession, and the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana Figueres, last year at the International Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa.

“The Board appreciates all of the hard work done by the high-level panel. The next step is to look closely at all of the recommendations,” said Mr. Duan.

The Dialogue was launched to reflect on experience gained in implementing the CDM and recommend how to position the mechanism going forward. The 11-person panel engaged a wide range of stakeholders through meetings, visits and studies in coming up with its findings on the operations, experience, benefits and shortcomings of the CDM.

“These are independent recommendations based on extensive consultation and research,” said Mr. Hession, who is Vice-Chair of the Board. “They are challenging and I hope they generate the sort of informed debate the CDM deserves.”

The Board at its meeting also concluded on two important procedures relating to the vetting of projects and their emission reductions, as well as an emissions baseline standard that will enhance consistency, objectivity and predictability in the development of the methodologies that underpin CDM projects.

The so-called significant deficiencies procedures, which are destined for consideration by the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Doha, Qatar, later this year, set out the possible consequences if the work of a project validator or emissions verifier results in excess issuances of credits. The other procedures, on materiality, set out how validators and verifiers can determine the relative importance of the information considered in a validation or verification, and prioritize the vetting process accordingly.

The Board also gave guidance on how changes to global warming potential (GWP) measurements by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, taking effect at the beginning of 2013, will affect project participants and co-ordinating/managing entities (CMEs). The Board agreed to initiate a work programme to elaborate on the effects and communicate the results, so that project participants and CMEs can plan accordingly.

For the report of the meeting see <>.