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COP16: GERES in Cancun

Cancun, November 29th – December 10th, 2010 – GERES (Group for Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity) will send a team of six experts to COP16 in Cancun, Mexico, to advocate how climate change negotiations should better take into account climate solidarity.

The effects of the current climate crisis are unequally distributed with developing countries being the hardest hit, even though their responsibility for causing climate change is limited. Defining alternative models of development, with reduced carbon emissions, and resistant to the harmful effects of climate change is crucial to improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable populations in developing countries.

Amongst several options, the international carbon market presents an opportunity for development stakeholders to access innovative funding mechanisms, especially for the dissemination of clean, affordable pro poor-technologies. But the high transaction costs and “cultural gaps” between the development and finance worlds make it difficult for project developers to access this market. Alternative and innovative solutions are being sought by development professionals to remove market barriers.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun is an important step in the preparation of a post Kyoto Protocol regime. It will, for example, impact the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) based offsetting schemes that are the cornerstone of carbon finance.

A team of six experts to advocate climate solidarity

Based on over 30 years of development experience, GERES feels now more than ever, that climate solidarity has become an unavoidable requirement in the fight against climate change.

Having addressed the need for the CDM to adapt to development field realities, GERES has proven its capacity to set up carbon projects that introduce innovative solutions to the system.

Along with its partner’s presence onsite, the GERES team will demonstrate that solutions exist and explore available methods to include solidarity in the international framework on climate change and especially within the CDM reform.

1. Should carbon markets allow “space for development”? Roundtable discussion on suppressed demand and carbon finance: Carbon finance is largely irrelevant to populations in Least Developed Countries (LDCs), who live in energy poverty. Baseline are calculated using historic levels of carbon emissions, which in LDCs are extremely low levels of energy consumption, or “suppressed demand”. This limits the effectiveness of the CDM as a development mechanism.

The round table will bring together experts to discuss how to incorporate suppressed demand into the CDM framework.

2. Call on the international community, including France to undertake ambitious actions to work for greater solidarity. GERES is an active member of Coordination SUD, a national platform of more than 130 French internatio­nal solidarity NGOs active in field work and policy advising. GERES, as part of the Coordination SUD delegation in Cancun, is assigned the task of following up on the “Adaptation” pillar of the negotiations and will help produce briefs and position papers.

Through these two examples, GERES hopes to inspire change and create awareness about the existing solutions adopted by the development world to improve the CDM and more generally the international policies on climate change.

As Swan Fauveaud, Manager of the GERES Climate Change Unit (CCU) says: “The D for Development of the CDM should be given more attention, especially at a time of intense renegotiation in the climate change talks. There are effective and successful solutions for CDM improvement. Now, it’s just a question of gathering strength and exchanging best practices among development stakeholders. This is what GERES has been doing for the last 5 years on the carbon market scene.”

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