Panel Argues CDM Can Help Support Goals of Paris Agreement
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The CDM has registered more than 8,100 projects and programmes in 111 developing countries.

Event participants emphasized that not finding a place for the CDM in the new climate regime will mean lost infrastructure.

5 December 2018: The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) could help incentivize global climate action in support of the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to panelists during an event held on the sidelines of the Katowice Climate Change Conference, taking place in Poland from 2-14 December.

The side event, convened by the UNFCCC Secretariat on 3 December, provided the opportunity to reflect on experiences gained and lessons learned over the 17 years of the CDM and discuss its continued relevance.

The CDM, a mechanism used by developed countries to help them meet their emission reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol, has registered more than 8,100 projects and programmes in 111 developing countries, including those related to wind power, clean cookstoves and landfill gas. As an incentive, the CDM issues to project developers saleable credits, known as Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits, for each tonne of CO2 they reduce or avoid.

In adopting the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to create tools to help meet the Paris goals, including a new market-based mechanism. Arguing that the CDM can play a role in the Paris Agreement, panelists, inter alia:

  • said excluding the CDM from the response to climate change would send a negative signal to the private sector and erode investor confidence in any future carbon mechanism;
  • credited the CDM with increasing political will that enabled the creation of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS);
  • said the CDM had delivered such co-benefits as improved indoor air quality and health benefits from efficient cookstove projects, job creation, increased access to electricity, and access to clean water;
  • emphasized the need for “something like the CDM” to stimulate and provide incentives for investment in emission reductions; and
  • highlighted CDM successes in Colombia and Brazil.

Participants also emphasized that not finding a place for the CDM in the new climate regime will mean lost infrastructure, with one noting that countries can use already existing capacity, or “we’ll have to create it all again in a few years.” The event discussed the report titled, ‘Achievements of the Clean Development Mechanism: Harnessing Incentive for Climate Action,’ which was published by the CDM Executive Board (EB) in August 2018 to mark the EB’s 100th meeting. [UNFCCC Press Release]


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