by Joe Perullo
Over the past two weeks, the informal consultations on issues relating to the clean development mechanism (CDM) have been bickering over the same few things. Least developed countries (LDCs) want more programs available to them, as do countries most vulnerable to climate change and small island developing states (SIDS)—arguments parallel with those in the negotiations on the Adaptation Fund. Developed countries, most audibly the EU, want text that allows more large-scale projects, which are more profitable for them but are usually done in China and India, not Tuvalu or Maldives.
Much of the time in these two weeks has been spent on philosophical arguing, not concrete negotiation of the text. The co-chair of the talks has had to schedule evening meetings several times, but it is just not enough. Almost every other paragraph has bracketed text (meaning it does not have consensus) and multiple, contrary ideas. The last meeting is tonight, and if countries don’t get their hands dirty then the text on the CDM, which does need some serious remodeling, will not be changed and negotiations will not reconvene until COP 18 next year. That however may be better than a UN takeover, where nearly all CDM projects are allocated to wealthier developing countries.