Working Session on Land Use and Bioenergy in the Clean Development Mechanism

On 30 June 2005, FAO, in collaboration with Joanneum Research and the BioCarbon Fund, is holding a working session for experts on bioenergy and land use in the CDM.

The Kyoto/Marrakech agreement provides for inclusion of Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) activities in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), limited to afforestation and reforestation projects, and also for inclusion of energy-related projects, to the extent that they reduce emissions from fossil fuels. However, the agreement fails to recognize the interlinkages between land use and a key energy source for many developing countries, biomass energy. Negotiations focused on constraining LULUCF and dealing with permanence, leading to at least two problems:

It was and still is often assumed that bioenergy and other renewable energy sources are always eligible under the CDM. However, this is only the case when emissions from fossil fuels, or other emissions included in Annex A of the Kyoto Protocol are part of the baseline. The replacement of unsustainable biomass use with modern biomass fuels, or with other renewables such as wind energy or solar, is not eligible as a CDM activity as demonstrated in a recent submission by FAO and IEA Bioenergy to the CDM Executive Board.

Projects that combine afforestation/reforestation with the use of biomass to displace fossil fuels are subject to an additional barrier by having to submit two baseline and monitoring methodologies, two Project Design Documents, and having to undergo the CDM screening process twice.

Objectives of the Working Session
The purpose of the Working Session is to assess the above-mentioned issues, illustrate them with case studies, and propose solutions on how reductions of unsustainable bioenergy use in the CDM can be made eligible in the CDM. This will include a discussion of options on how land use and bioenergy could be better included under the Kyoto Protocol and subsequent climate agreements.

In particular, the Working Session will elaborate suggestions on how to address the definition of sustainable (or renewable) versus unsustainable (or non-renewable) biomass, will discuss existing cases and/or types of sustainable land-use/bioenergy systems and will identify necessary steps to reach their eligibility in the CDM.

If you are interested in participating, please contact [email protected] and [email protected]