Sinks in the CDM: After the climate, biodiversity goes down the drain

Publication - 19 December, 2003
CoP-9 has agreed the rules of accounting for Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry, so called "Sinks", projects in the Clean Development Mechanism for the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol as required by the Marrakech Accords (17/CP.7, 10(b)). This document presents a rough guide and analysis of the key decisions that were made in Milan at CoP-9 on CDM sinks rules (FCCC/SBSTA/2003/L.27). As is well known, Greenpeace and many other environmental groups have long been opposed to the inclusion of sinks projects in the CDM, and this opposition remains. Nevertheless, Parties have agreed to include sinks and consequently the focus of our efforts since Marrakech has been to ensure that the rules have climatic, environmental and social integrity.After the key climate concern was overruled by allowing "offset-sinks" into the CDM at CoP-6bis, the current rules should at least have prevented subsidies to environmentally and socially damaging projects. Unfortunately, the door is now wide open for projects with disastrous effects for biodiversity and local livelihoods. Such projects should now, and most likely will, be opposed on the ground and investors should be held accountable. No party acting in good faith should want to give Kyoto a bad reputation by using monocultures or genetically modified organisms in the name of climate protection.

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Num. pages: 18

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