Treading Hot Water: Climate Negotiations in Poznan

The UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan, December 1-12, 2008

The world's governments are converging on Poznan, Poland over the first two weeks of December for the UN's annual climate change conference. The Poznan negotiations are a key step on the road to the crucial conference in Copenhagen next December, where agreement needs to be reached on the climate regime to take effect after the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

International Rivers is sending a three-woman climate team to Poznan: Payal Parekh, Barbara Haya and Ann-Kathrin Schneider. Our team will be pushing for substantial reforms to - and in the long term abolition of - the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). This flawed scheme is undermining the goals of the Kyoto Protocol by generating hundreds of millions of carbon offsets from projects that are doing nothing to actually reduce emissions. More than a quarter of projects applying for the CDM are hydropower plants, including, at the latest count, 364 large hydros in China.

Payal and Barbara observed last week's pre-conference meeting of the CDM Executive Board in Poznan. They were pleased that the CDM punished auditors DNV for their sloppy work by suspending their accreditation to "validate" projects for the CDM. International Rivers has long been demanding that the CDM take action against project auditors who fail to comply with the CDM's rules.

Dead trees in the Petit Saut reservoir
Dead trees in the Petit Saut reservoir
Frédéric Guérin
We'll also be urging EU officials to take seriously the "Linking Directive," an EU law requiring large hydros to comply with the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams if they are to sell CDM credits to be used in the European Trading System.

And we'll be pushing for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to take greater note of the science on the substantial global warming pollution caused by dams and reservoirs, especially in the tropics.

You can monitor all the important developments at the conference through our new climate blog: "In Hot Water."

Meet the climate warriors:

Payal ParekhAnn-Kathrin
Barbara Haya