UN Special Rapporteur calls for strong social & environmental safeguards for climate action projects supported by UN; negotiators at Bonn show little interest
"Climate negotiators focus on carbon credits, underplay human rights", 23 May 2016
Just prior to the UN climate conference now underway in Bonn, Germany, Knox proposed that a new component of the Paris Agreement that applies to the longstanding Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) be revised to incorporate both “strong social and environmental safeguards.”...“The main problem with the Clean Development Mechanism has always been that it lacks effective safeguards to ensure that human rights are taken into account,” Knox wrote as part of his 16-page report to the UN. “To ensure that the new mechanism does not repeat those mistakes, I have made a number of recommendations on social and environmental safeguards, including prior [CDM project] assessment, requirements of participation [by locally impacted people], and the establishment of effective grievance mechanisms, which would go a long way toward protecting human rights.”...Most negotiators at this month’s Bonn climate conference showed little interest in discussing, no less implementing, Knox’s human rights recommendations, which they believe would possibly result in making a glut of CDM projects even less attractive to industrialized nations...Carbon Market Watch has compiled a list of harmful CDM projects. Among them are large hydropower projects including Barro Blanco in Panama and Santa Rita in Guatemala, which they say negatively impacted indigenous and/or local populations who were given no voice in the projects.