IETA is committed to the development of a wide range of reports, briefs, and policy analyses that add new facts and perspectives to the climate change debate.

The State of the CDM 2010


State of the CDM 2010 Cover 

The State of the CDM Report 2009 concentrated on identifying the CDM’s most chronic challenges and putting forward solutions to address them.  The 2010 Report maintains that focus because, while great changes have taken place this year, great challenges remain. With clear CMP guidance, IETA believes the remaining issues can be addressed in 2011.


In our attempt to make this document increasingly accessible to negotiators, this year’s version aims to be more concise and even more focused on the core issues holding back the CDM. In the main document, we focus our comments on those challenges that most affect the efficiency of the CDM— issues including the absence of materiality; the barriers to taking difficult policy decisions; and the long delays for registration and issuance. For even faster reading, the Annex consolidates and provides explanations for all of IETA’s recommendations.


Last year's State of the CDM Report focused on the following 5 enduring problems: unrelenting time constraints, ineffective communication practices, lack of transparency, slow policy development and inadequate resolution of issues, and inadequate number and expertise of Secretariat staff. Both the Report and its annex highlight where those problems remain, if they have been addressed, and how they can be improved further in ways that will enhance the efficiency of the CDM.


Despite the remaining challenges, IETA applauds the hard work of the EB and the Secretariat over the past year. Faced with a mammoth backlog and daunting policy workload, they have persevered to implement some very significant changes to the Secretariat structure and to the registration, issuance, and review procedures, among others. While the jury is still out as to whether the reforms will be ultimately successful, there is no question that CDM stakeholders recognize the EB and Secretariat’s devotion to improving the CDM.


One area in which neither the Secretariat nor the EB can help us, however, is the issue of the future of the CDM.  Prior to Copenhagen, hopes were high that an international agreement would be reached, trust renewed in the UNFCCC system, and wide-ranging CDM reforms agreed. The Copenhagen Accord was praised by some and criticized by others, but what it definitely did not do was address any of the longer-term issues regarding the CDM or new flexible mechanisms. Worse yet, a recently released note by the UNFCCC Secretariat on legal considerations relating to a possible gap between commitment periods of the Kyoto Protocol has led to increased uncertainty regarding the continuation of the CDM and the security of CDM investments. Only the CMP can resolve this issue, as the interpretation of the Kyoto Protocol remains their purview. IETA urges them to do so in Cancun.


IETA’s 160+ member companies believe that this document and its annex of recommended ‘further guidance relating to the Clean Development Mechanism’ should serve as a guide to negotiators as the Cancun talks begin. CDM reform still matters greatly to those working within and committed to the long-term success of the mechanism. As in all previous editions, this Report provides proposals for reform that will ensure continued private sector interest in this successful environmental mechanism.


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