Paryavaran Mitra

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Climate Change : Clean Development Mechanism.

Climate Change - CDM projects:

CDM projects are implemented globally under Kyoto Protocol to reduce green house gases emission and Global warming by UNFCCC. India is second most potential country to implement CDM projects. But it is necessary to scan CDM projects as it should not only mean for money exchange CDM is a market based mechanism under Kyoto Protocol which allows trading of carbon as commodity. Developing country can reduce their green house gas emission and earn CER – Certified Emission Reduction which can be traded to developed countries. Apart from project participants UNFCCC and third party validators are involved in this process. India is hot destination for CDM project due to diversity in project, skilled people and easy permission from national authority. India has highest number of registered CDM projects in world.

CDM - Paryavaran Mitra's observations:

Paryavaran Mitra is closely observing the CDM policy in India and also at the proposed and implemented projects in Gujarat. Our research has led us to the following conclusions:

  • The Ministry of Environment & Forest is the nodal agency for CDM projects in India. Thus for any CDM project introduced in India, NOC from SPCB and the permission of the MoEF is required. We have concluded that these have been reduced to mere formalities and paperwork instead of them acting as regulating bodies for CDM Projects.
  • The Indian government acts as a mere promoter of CDM projects rather than monitoring and evaluating these projects. Till date, not a single proposal has been rejected by the Government, even if global companies believe that such a project is not worth Carbon Credits!
  • In some cases, a CDM project is in operation while in same campus some other operation causes greater pollution; this defeats the greater objective of Kyoto- saving the Environment.
  • In almost all such CDM projects, prior to its implementation the local communities have been victims of pollution from these industries especially due to green house gases emissions. Ethically, CDM projects should share their revenue for the community's welfare.
  • Often, there is no appropriate public consultation about such CDM projects; the public is unaware of their implications. While EPH is mandatory for all other industrial setups, the MoEF is silent about making any Public Hearings for these projects - creating double standards through the law. It seems obvious then that MNCs shall opt for CDM Projects in order to do away with Environmental procedure - what remains the largest hindrance for their unchecked proliferation.
  • There are 104 registered CDM projects between India and UK alone. Under these projects 16586726 Certified Emission Reductions (Almost 650 to 900 crores INR) are traded every year. However, neither the Government nor the public are stakeholders for the benefits of such revenue. For CDM projects to achieve their objective - it must have a larger motive than profit- making.

Current problems of CDM

  • Lack of transparency (only between Government ,companies and International bodies)
  • Cheap option for developed countries to buy carbon credits
  • No transformational effects
  • Community impacts (positive or negative) not evaluated.
  • No monitoring at national and state government level
  • How should mechanism be reformed?As the CDM process shall expire in 2012, what should be the future options available?

ON THE ISSUE OF CLIMATE CHANGE Paryavaran Mitra sees its role at two levels.

A)Studying specific protocols and their implication to the poor and marginalized and simplifying and communicating the implications as part of the Environmental Public Hearing process for clearances of Industrial Projects.

B)Promote and monitor the CDM projects as explained below:

  • Gujarat is in forefront of industrial development. Many large and medium scale units of multinational projects have their units in Gujarat. Apart from that small scale industries are scattered all over Gujarat.
  • For these industries, coal and other fossil fuel is the main source of energy.
  • Burning of fossil fuel emits lots of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and other gases, which comes under green house category gases.
  • Gujarat has also large and medium scale Thermal Power Plants which are based on Coal and lignite. These altogether developments have created large amount of green houses gases in atmosphere.
  • To overcome effect of green house gases and climate change United Nations has created United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • UNFCCC has developed two project based mechanism for reduction of GHC from global climate. One is Clean Development Mechanism- CDM and Joint Implementation- JI.
  • In, CDM projects, GHG emission are reduced by developing countries projects and they earn Certified Emission rate- CER. They sale CER to developed countries and thus carbon trading comes in market.
  • For implementation of CDM projects India is believed to be most potential country.
  • CDM projects are implemented in India since 2005. Gujarat Fluro Chemical Ltd.- GFCl's HCFC reduction CDM project was third in world first in India.
  • At this stage as many 300 CDM project are either implemented or under consideration in all over India.
  • Ministry of Environment & Forest is nodal agency in India for implementation of CDM projects.
  • SCDM projects are implemented haphazardly in India. Ministry of Environment & Forest is in promotional role not in scrutiny role. Public is not aware of any kind of such projects. Lots of foreign exchange in name of CDM comes to India but it goes to industry's pocket. Local people neither aware nor beneficiary of project implementation. Due to this sometimes pollution does not comes under control and purpose of CDM projects does not serve.
  • Major goal of CDM project for developing country is to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Whether really this goal is achieved after project operation
  • On basis of capacity of project to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, National Authority approves projects. Whether National Authorities are capable enough to assess project contribution to Sustainable Development Goals? Indian National Authority is only in role of encouragement and not in monitoring role.
  • India has put criteria for development of CDM project to enhance environment/ecological/social/technological well being through CDM project. Whether it has been cross checked that project has enhance environment and social well being?
  • As buying credits is cheap options for Developed countries, they will opt for it and emit more greenhouse gases. Developed countries are actually not interested in poverty alleviation or gas reduction but in using developing countries land/resources for project development.
  • CDM has remained between private companies, global consultant and stock traders at large. Government and local people are unaware of process of CDM project. Consultation is mere formality at project development stage.
  • There is no public accountability or transparency involved in project operation. No data on CERs selling and earning to company. Even Ministry of Environment & Forest is not aware on financial transactions.

Paryavaran Mitra's Efforts

  • Paryavaran Mitra’s demands are that CDM projects should be properly implemented, local state government should be made aware about projects, they should have monitoring role project apart from promotional role and local people should get benefited from revenue of CDM project.
  • Paryavaran Mitra made series of meeting with State Environment and Forest Department to promote CDM projects and monitoring them.
  • Paryavaran Mitra wrote a letter to chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Ministry of Environment & Forest regarding CDM projects of Gujarat. After that Paryavaran Mitra made application under Right to Information Act that what steps had been taken on our letter.
  • In that regards it reveal that state government has formed CDM cell within Forest & Environment Department.
  • Paryavaran Mitra also had campaign in Panchmahal distrct against GFCL. GFCL is first CDM project in India. They have said to reduction gases. On other hand surrounding villages people have lots of complains about air pollution from GFCL. Gas leakage incidences also reported in Company. So Paryavaran Mitra wrote to UNFCCC head quarter at Bonn, Germany about malfunctioning of project of GFCL.
  • Head quarter had advised us to make presentation at validation stage of any projects.
  • So Paryavaran Mitra now regularly makes presentation to various projects at their validation stage on UNFCCC website.

Our Demands:

  • That CDM projects should be properly implemented (make Public hearings mandatory),
  • Local self-governments should be made aware about such projects,
  • They should have a monitoring role in the projects apart from just a promotional role.
  • The local people should get an equal benefit from its revenue.
  • Developed Countries should stop playing 'Green Politics' on the ever increasing Environment challenges.
  • Developed Countries are buying 'carbon-credit' from the developing and under-developed countries but at the same time they have to make sure that actually the carbon is 'cut' (reduced) on reality basis at their own countries.
  • CDM projects in developing countries should be monitored before buying carbon credits. They should encourage use of CDM revenue for local communities.
  • People in developed countries should reduce their consumption patterns in order to reduce green house gases in the atmosphere.
  • Moreover, the growing market for the super rich in India alone is a greater victim of such unchecked consumption. While we maintain the focus on CDM - there must be more awareness on these factors as well for achieving the greater purpose of reducing GHGs.

The above listed requires your co operation and support. Are you willing to join us?