CDM EB 78 Press Highlights: Time right to cancel CERs for environment and development

CDM EB 2014

Clean Development Mechanism open for business – CDM Board Chair

 Bonn, 4 April 2014 – Now is a good time for countries, corporations and public agencies, virtually anyone with a concern for the environment and sustainable development, to buy and cancel certified emission reductions created under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), says the Chair of the Executive Board that oversees the CDM.

 A wide range of market approaches designed to incentivize investment in emissions reductions are emerging around the world. Meanwhile, the CDM, the longest running and most well established such market mechanism, is suffering from low demand resulting in low prices paid for its certified emission reductions (CERs). The Board chooses to see this as an opportunity for buyers.

 “The quality is high and the prices are regrettably low, but if environmentally conscious buyers are favored in this market then let’s encourage them to make best use of the CDM,” said CDM Executive Board Chair Hugh Sealy.

 “Measuring and reducing emissions is the responsibility of all companies and significant emitters. Investors, customers and a fast-growing proportion of the public expect it,” said Dr. Sealy. “The use of offsets offers a cost-effective way to approach climate neutrality by going outside the company boundaries and investing in emission reductions elsewhere.”

 The CDM has incentivized the registration of more than 7600 emission-reduction projects in more than 100 countries, everything from efficient cook-stove projects to wind energy, to projects that destroy potent industrial gases.

 “When emission reductions come with other benefits, such as technology transfer, sustainable energy, increased household prosperity, clean air, education or spur other types of sustainable development, then clearly this is in the best interest of everyone, in developed and developing countries,” said Dr. Sealy. “The CDM delivers these kinds of benefits, so companies that use CDM offsets are doing the right thing and have a great story to tell.”

 The CDM Board at its 78th meeting gave the green light to an initiative intended to increase the mechanism’s use by environmentally aware emitters in the private and public sector. The initiative will include a range of outreach activities and communication efforts in the coming two years.

 Also at its 78th meeting, the Board continued its discussion on the CDM’s position within a changing landscape of emerging market systems and what, if any, decisions the Board might need to take to help safeguard environmental integrity. The Board decided to encourage CDM national authorities to make arrangements for projects to declare instances when they participate in or seek emission reduction unit issuance under other programmes.

 As well, the Board welcomed the launch this week of an online tool, a comprehensive questionnaire, that CDM project participants can use, on a voluntary basis, to describe and display publically the sustainable development benefits of their projects. Enhancing the transparency of the sustainable development benefits of the mechanism should help project participants effectively promote the benefits of their projects and assist buyers of CERs to easily identify projects with high sustainable development benefits.

 The Board also adopted regulatory and procedural documents relating to projects that capture and sequester greenhouse gas emissions, so-called carbon capture and storage (CCS), for example from fossil-fuel-powered electricity generators.

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For a full report of the meeting see http://cdm.unfccc.int/EB/index.html.

For more information please visit http://cdm.unfccc.int/

 For further information contact David Abbass dabbass@unfccc.int, Public Information Officer, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change secretariat, Bonn, Germany.

 About the Kyoto Protocol’s clean development mechanism

The CDM allows emission-reduction projects in developing countries to earn certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2. CERs can be traded and sold, and used by industrialized countries to meet a part of their targets under the Protocol. The CDM assists countries in achieving sustainable development and emission reductions, while giving industrialized countries some flexibility in how they meet their emission targets.