The 45th meeting of the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism was carried between Feb.12th and 13th.
New EB Chair and Vice-Chair
The EB elected Mr. Lex de Jonge and Mr. Clifford Mahlung as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the Executive Board until the first meeting of the Board in 2010. Mr. De Jonge was previously Director of the CDM Division in the Netherlands. Mr. Mahlung was Jamaica’s chief negotiator to the recent United Nations climate change conference in Bali.
Business as usual
The approbation/refusal of registration of projects as well as the issuance of CERs was conducted without extended discussions. The Board however discussed situations in which the implementation of registered CDM projects may differ from description of the project in the registered Project Description Document. With regards to large-scale projects, it is in fact frequent to have a PDD which differs significantly from the implemented project. This is due, in part, to the delay in the approbation of the project. From the time the PDD is tunnelled in the CDM pipeline to the time it is verified and approved, there can be significant contingencies in the actual implementation of the project. The EB mandated studies on the matter.
Those expecting more debates will have to wait at the end of March for Bonn’s meeting of the AWG-LCA and AWG-KP, the two working groups responsible for preparing the table for Copenhagen. This will be the first real test for the Obama administration.
Of particular interest were discussions on the management plan of the CDM. It highlighted the main challenges and strategic objectives of Kyoto’s flagship flexibility mechanism (see http://cdm.unfccc.int/EB/045/eb45_repan71.pdf). These challenges pertain mainly to the stunning increase in workload the CDM governance structure had to digest in the last years. Since the CDM is a bottom-up, voluntary mechanism, this workload is difficult to predict from year to year. This also raises the capacity constraints of the CDM-related processes in the market: Firms qualified enough and willing to act as Designated Operational Entities (DOEs) are not simply available on demand. More globally, there is a need for the CDM to surpass its “learning-by-doing” approach and enter a more mature, efficient and responsive phase.
The report however is silent about the global economic context. Yet, one might think that because of the economic crisis (and correlated diminution in industrial activity), the increase in demand for registration of CDM projects as well as pressure on the DOE market will be more modest than expected.