Greenpeace calls on Thailand to oppose dirty technology dumping under an international climate treaty

Press release - August 3, 2000
Greenpeace today called on the Thai Government to ensure that a new climate-related international funding mechanism was not misused to promote polluting and non-sustainable technologies like nuclear power and coal, and sinks projects. The call came during a forum attended by Government officials, NGOs and various citizens' groups in Bangkok. Greenpeace will also travel to Indonesia and the Philippines in the coming week to raise public awareness on the issue of dirty energy technology dumping.

Greenpeace today called on the Thai Government to ensure that a new climate-related international funding mechanism was not misused to promote polluting and non-sustainable technologies like nuclear power and coal, and sinks projects. The call came during a forum attended by Government officials, NGOs and various citizens' groups in Bangkok. Greenpeace will also travel to Indonesia and the Philippines in the coming week to raise public awareness on the issue of dirty energy technology dumping.

The new funding mechanism is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. The CDM allows industrialised countries to invest in projects in developing countries which lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and claim "credits" for those reductions when meeting their own targets. The projects also have to assist developing countries in achieving sustainable development. However, many countries are pushing to have non-sustainable technologies like nuclear power and coal, and sinks projects included in the CDM.

"The nuclear and coal lobbies are trying to turn the CDM into a new subsidy" said Ben Pearson of Greenpeace International. "It's not hard to see why. Coal use declined by 5% last year, and the nuclear industry is dying in the west, so they want to dump their obsolete and polluting technologies on the developing world".

Developing countries should be focussed on getting state-of-the-art renewable technologies promoted by the CDM. But other pressures for allowing forest-type projects - sinks - to be included could undercut technology transfer and see the CDM market monopolised by a handfull of countries. "Sinks in the CDM means less renewables projects and less benefit for developing countries" warned Karl Mallon of Greenpeace International.

Greenpeace is pushing for the CDM to be restricted to renewable energy and high-value energy efficiency projects. This will ensure that the mechanism is of greatest value to developing countries. Greenpeace believes that developing countries should be using CDM credits to leapfrog the failed western energy model, not recreate it.

"The CDM could be a positive tool for promoting sustainable energy technologies in Thailand such as mainstreaming renewables and efficiency" said Greenpeace South East Asia's Athena Ronquillo. "But only if Governments like Thailand ensure that unsustainable technologies are excluded".

The decision on which technologies are eligible for the CDM is to be made at the 6th Conference of Parties to the Climate Convention in The Hague in November. To ensure that it only funds sustainable technologies, Greenpeace is advocating that the CDM be based on an "exclusive positive list" of renewables and energy efficiency technologies. Any technologies not on the list will not be eligible.

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