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CDM Watch Policy Brief: A new look at loopholes

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A. Kollmuss
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Fulfilment of the pledges signed by 42 developed countries is estimated to reduce emissions by up to 4 billion tons (Gt) of CO2e in 2020. This is about one third of the estimated 12 Gt of CO2e emissions reductions that would be needed to remain on a path consistent with keeping warming below 2°C. Unfortunately, weaknesses in international emissions accounting could substantially weaken these already insufficient pledges, negating much if not all of their intended emissions benefits. In this paper, we address the following five “loopholes” in the existing negotiation framework, examine their impact, and list possible policy solutions to close them. The loopholes include: Russia and Ukraine having a very large surplus of allowances in emissions (AAUs); land use, land-use change and forestry sector (LULUCF) having weak accounting rules; CDM credits that do not represent real emissions reductions; double counting of emissions reductions; emissions from International aviation and shipping.