In Focus

 Calibration workshop


Validators, verifiers share notes on latest CDM rules

Bonn, 28 May 2018 – Project validators and verifiers from six countries have shared notes and conferred with UN Climate Change secretariat staff at a calibration workshop on the latest changes in rules governing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and how they work on the ground.

Accredited third-party validators and verifiers – called designated operational entities (DOEs) – are key components of the CDM’s governance structure, responsible for ensuring that emission-reduction projects meet requirements for registration and that the emission reductions claimed by a project actually occurred. Each certified emission reduction (CER) issued must represent a true reduction equivalent to a tonne of carbon dioxide.

The Executive Board that oversees the CDM needs “to ensure that DOEs perform at the highest level so that Parties [to the Kyoto Protocol], the public and all stakeholders have absolute faith in the integrity of the CDM,” said James Grabert, Director, Sustainable Development Mechanisms programme at UN Climate Change.

“This workshop provides an excellent opportunity and platform for [validators and verifiers] and the Secretariat to interact and enhance and calibrate their understanding of the CDM requirements, including the revised regulations that have been introduced recently,” said Mr. Grabert.

Under the CDM, projects in developing countries earn a saleable CER for each tonne of greenhouse gas they reduce or avoid. The incentive has led to the registration of more than 8,100 projects and programmes in 111 countries and the issuance of more than 1.9 billion CERs.

The workshop was useful to “revitalize” our work “calibrating auditors who work on the ground” checking projects and emission reductions, said Werner Betzenbichler, Chair of the Designated Operational Entities and Accredited Independent Entities Coordination Forum.

In addition to projects, the CDM has vetted and approved some 260 methodologies for measuring baseline emissions and monitoring the emission reductions achieved by projects, everything from large industrial gases projects, to solar and wind power projects, to projects to promote the use of clean cookstoves and water filters.

“I see a bright future for greenhouse verification,” said Mr. Betzenbichler, explaining that whatever the future holds for the CDM, emerging emission systems will require local verification capacities.

In recent years, activity under the CDM, a mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, has declined. The number of DOEs working fulltime on the CDM has dropped considerably and the number of validation and verification companies engaged in any work on the CDM has dropped to 30 from a peak of 50.

However, projects continue to be registered and significant numbers of CERs continue to be issued to projects, some of these destined for use in national systems, such as the Korean Emission Trading System. The Paris Climate Change Agreement, agreed by countries in 2015, also provides for cooperation on emissions reductions, which would include the trading of emission reductions, and provides for the creation of a sustainable development mechanism.