Durban climate summit_Euro-parliamentarians condemn carbon storage acceptance in Clean Development Mechanism

Durban, 8 December 2011

Cross-party Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have reacted critically to a UN climate summit (COP 17) working group approval of measures that will allow the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism to accelerate investments for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects in developing countries.

The MEPs say the approval conflicts with CDM rules on fair geographic distribution,  transfer of green technology, cost-effectiveness and contribution to sustainable development.

Extended oil recovery (EOR) is not excluded from the current text, which means this technique to use CO2 to extract oil from underground reservoirs could provide a windfall of millions in CDM credits for big oil companies. Liability for leakage, however, would rest with the host developing countries.

Kriton Arsenis (Socialists and Democrats, Greece)

"Financing CCS projects through CDM is an unacceptable experiment. Essentially, we are using developing countries´ urgent need for climate financing in order to experiment with a technology which is yet not proven to be safe and sound. Such a practice is against the idea of solidarity and cooperation behind CDM. If we really want to help developing countries´access to clean, reliable and affordable energy, CDM projects should focus on technology solutions which are proven to be cost-effective, environmentally sound, which contribute to sustainable development and pose no risks to the countries´ social, economic and environmental well being. Renewable energy is such an option, and that's where we need to focus."

Bas Eickhout (Greens, the Netherlands)

“The reason why we are here at the COP17 in Durban is to save the climate, not to make things worse. Our priority should lie in closing the loopholes not creating new ones by allowing oil companies to increase their profits while doing nothing for climate. At times of financial scarcity we have the responsibility to ensure that money flows where it is most needed. Subsidizing oil companies does not contribute towards tackling climate change nor does it lead to sustainable development in developing countries. CCS from extended oil recovery should therefore be explicitly excluded from CDM. In any event, I call for the exclusion of any CCS or coal CDM-project to be excluded from use for compliance under EU domestic legislation.”


Sabine Wils (GUE/NGL, Germany)

“Including CCS in the CDM means to promote false solutions for tackling climate change. This decision subsidises big companies and related interests of some major economies for keeping their economic strategy that contributes to runaway climate, endangers groundwater and in consequence peoples health. The storage sites of CO2 impose unacceptable burdens on future generations. Developing countries should speak out against this harmful transfer of technology escaping mitigation of greenhouse gases.”

Corinne Lepage (ALDE, France)

“Some countries hold the negotiations in hostage in order to make dirty deals that favor dirty energies. Developing countries and the EU should demand the exclusion of CCS from CDM, CDM money should be used to develop renewable energies, not to extract more coal or petrol.”