As Poznan, COP 14, an intermediate negotiations phase draws to a close and delegates from all over the world disperse, it is clear that there was very limited progress made on reforming the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in the short-term. The CDM is one of the three mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol that enables developed countries (Annex B) to invest in projects in developing countries (non- Annex B) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One of the chief complaints under the CDM regime has been the slow approval process and developer’s facing confusion on the closed screening of projects by the CDM Executive Board. With over 1,186 projects registered, consequently, there are numerous projects still on the drawing-board or in the CDM pipeline biding their time until they receive the green flag from the CDM Executive Board. Such a slow process with a lack of transparency has stirred frustration in the CDM developer community and calls for reform have grown considerably over the last year; Henry Derwent, President and CEO, International Emissions Trading Association leads the charge and argues that “as a direct result of the limited guidance from parties to the Kyoto protocol in relation to the implementation of an improved CDM, uncertainties and delays currently plague the process.”
One of the longstanding demands has been the appointment of a Chairman and Vice-Chairman to the Executive Board to increase transparency. Unfortunately, Poznan did not alter the structure of the Executive Board; however, it did request the Executive Board to “continue ensuring the efficient, cost-effective, transparent and consistent functioning of the clean development mechanism.” Further discussions on streamlining registration, issuance, and methodology approval procedures will have to wait until next year, where the REAL reforms are set out in Copenhagen.