Mr. R. K. Sethi, Member Secretary, The National Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Authority, Designated National Authority (DNA), Ministry of Environment and Forests had a meeting with an elite group of NGO officials from EDF to Greenpeace Germany to CAN and carbon services international. There I was sitting as a youth representative who was expected to know nothing about CDM, but I guess all of us present were pleasantly surprised. Just to reiterate my point, Global youth is as much on track if not more than all the other stakeholders in the secretariat.
India’s stance and status of CDM
Since 2003, we have been the most efficient in the world where it takes only 8 weeks for host country approval.Apart from the DNA working for sustainable development in the projects and does not act as a DOE. Unlike other countries we have local bodies like Pollution Control Boards, Jal Boards(Water board) who have to monit
or locally before sending it for host country approval. Its a “no quota” regulation which is as minimum as possible.
India is currently looking to give a big push to POA- program of activities under which it has just approved a big CFL lighting project across many rural villages in India. In relations to the New Zealand proposition of linking the NAMA to CDM , they said it opens all together a new dimension and India will brainstorm on it in the coming future. He also believes that India need to have flexibility built into the system.
One of the most critical positions that came through the meeting was that India is in favour of Nuclear to be integrated into the CDM. The reasoning says that we are using our renewable forms of energy to the maximum like hydro power which is only able to cater to 25 % of power demand but where will all the other energy come from? Since I mega watt of nuclear energy could cover more if not equal amount of 1 mega watt from coal.”India is a very responsible country” and will use nuclear energy sensibly which it has proved in the past with its nuclear tests. However India is not competent to comment on the responsibility of other countries in this respect.
Another hurdle is coverage of local costs of participation of CDM projects to which Mr Sethi had the opinion that the Government cannot come into the business of local participation but can help in capacity building and hands on training. Last year in the Poznan Negotiations Dr Prodipto Ghos
h had vouched for Indian specific benchmarks, but he disagreed saying that the other countries would never agree to country specific benchmarks. But the grid coefficient emissions system of electricity in India could be remodelled across the world.
International Level Status
On the international level , Mr Sethi has been the Chairing the CDM EB – executive board and when asked about teh functioning of the EB is being strengthened by capacity building and RITs . Whereas as far as sectoral approaches are concerned it is believed that they should be bottom up approach rather than the top to bottom approach which will face huge resistance since countries would not want to be dominated by any other organization. When asked whether there is any future for MRV support for NAMAs he said that if CDM is linked to NAMAs, it would be the most rigorous MRV of its kind. A big concern of CDM is its unpredictability which has to be resolved through increasing flexibility in the system.
In the global perspective , he is not in favour if the co-benefits and exceptions from additionality for stakeholders which might need local cost assistance for participation.
MY TAKE on CDM
In my opinion, India is doing very well in CDM and I hope it continues to do so. I feel we need to resolve the accounting issue of CER revenue and decide whether it is a good or service so that participants are taxed fairly and tax of 33 % doesn’t act as a disincentive. I also think India needs to rethink its position on Nuclear CDM , as Nuclear is an issue by itself. Also, having the government of India as the DNA makes the process highly bureaucratic and has various loopholes and power struggles at every level . Maybe India could have a DOE of its own which will speedup the process of validation and also the clubbing of SMEs with POA projects would benefit the POA methodology and strengthen local participation.
India currently holds 32% of market share of CDM in the world with the largest number of projects in the pipeline. We can only wish for a speedy validation to see India overtake China as the most approved projects in CDM.