CDM board mulls rule revision for coal projects
The UN's clean development mechanism (CDM) executive board is set to decide whether to revise the rules for coal-burning power plant projects to allow the suspension of the controversial methodology to be lifted.
The board's members will meet on Wednesday, 8 May, to consider giving the revised methodology the go-ahead.
If the suspension is lifted, issuance of certified emissions reduction (CER) carbon offsets would be boosted although, under revisions proposed by the CDM's methodology panel, coal plant projects would receive fewer credits than hitherto.
The coal plant methodology was suspended late last year on the back of a body of evidence that suggested projects were being over-credited by as much as 71% relative to actual emissions reductions (see EDCM 11 November 2012).
According to UNEP Risoe data, 215m CERs from existing higher-efficiency coal power CDM projects could enter the EU emissions trading system (ETS) in its third phase, which will run from 2013 to 2020.
The EU has not banned the use of CERs from coal-based projects in phase III, although it has done so with credits from other controversial projects such as those that break down certain greenhouse gases produced by the chemical industry.
CDM Watch, an influential non-governmental organisation (NGO) campaigning for the coal methodology to be removed from the CDM, has called on the executive board to reject the revised methodology for coal projects.
Because six of the 45 coal projects in the CDM pipeline have already been registered, they could still receive as many as 89 million credits based on the flawed old methodology, CDM watch claimed.
"Diverting scarce climate finance to support construction of new heavily polluting coal plants undermines the overall objective of limiting dangerous climate change and supporting sustainable development," the NGO said in a statement. VF
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