Internal strategies Using the instruments in the compliance system

It has been maintained that 'where civil society... has specific expertise, its monitoring capabilities can enhance transparency, increase certainty, and promote compliance' (Wiser, 1999, p4). Let us consider some options for NGOs to strengthen climate compliance by using or enhancing instruments in the climate regime: first is participation in compliance proceedings. There will potentially be significant opportunities for NGOs to participate in such processes. Intergovernmental organizations and NGOs will be entitled to submit technical and factual information to the Compliance Committee's relevant branch - that is, either the Facilitative or the Enforcement Branch (Decision 24/CP.7 of the Marrakesh Accords, Section VIII (4)). The Enforcement Branch is only required to rely upon information from 'official' sources, but it will be difficult to ignore reliable information submitted by competent IGOs or NGOs (see Ulfstein and Werksman, this volume). The two branches of the Compliance Committee may seek expert advice (VIII (5)), possibly giving NGOs scope for influence. Furthermore, the information considered by the relevant branch shall be made available to the public, unless the branch, of its own accord or at the request of the party concerned, decides otherwise (VIII (6)).

Second, NGOs may monitor sinks projects and CDM project activities and attend Executive Board CDM meetings.22 This is essential to prevent misuse of the Kyoto Protocol in general and the flexibility mechanisms in particular. For example, NGOs work to prevent the CDM - which assists developing states in reducing GHG emissions, while assisting developed states to meet their commitments - from being used to finance 'clean' coal power plants. 'Green' or 'clean' coal plants, a contradiction in terms according to the NGOs, refers to plants with lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions than existing plants, or merely lower emissions than the average CO2 emissions of existing plants. NGOs will also try to monitor the quality of CDM sinks projects. Moreover, one of the NGO community's greatest fears is that the CDM could be used to finance nuclear energy, or that the Kyoto Protocol in general might be portrayed as an argument in support of building nuclear power plants. How can the NGOs work to avoid such a development? Executive Board CDM meetings are broadcasted on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) website, which may give good overviews and levels of transparency (interview with Anderson, 2002). Similarly, 'CDM watch' and 'Sink watch' are two Internet sites under development, private initiatives to monitor and keep track of the quality of new projects. Such initiatives might become important, but they are still in a very early phase.

Networks like CAN may be effective in exposing 'bad projects', and big NGOs such as WWF, Greenpeace and FoE may develop their own instruments to monitor CDM projects through their international and national networks. NGOs themselves believe that monitoring big CDM projects will become an important instrument to ensure the quality of such projects (interview with Gulowsen, 2002). Even if NGOs are not able to influence the CDM Executive Board, project investors may very well be sensitive to NGO shaming. Merely the threat of NGO shaming may actually prevent investors from engaging in 'bad projects'. However, even though it is possible to monitor some projects, it will probably be difficult to keep track of all CDM projects. NGOs will, to some extent, have to rely on the CDM rules and focus on them (interview with Anderson, 2002).

Third, another loophole in the Kyoto Protocol, as most NGOs see it, is 'hot air' emission trading. This is the potential of Russia and other Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries to sell some of their surplus GHG emission allowances as part of an international trading regime. Due to industrial and economic changes in Russia and the CEE countries since 1990, these countries have received GHG emission budgets far in excess of what they need. Hot air emission trading may thus lead to emissions being significantly higher than they would have been in the absence of such trading. Quotas must be traceable back to the country of origin, and NGOs are likely to try to prevent parties or investors from trading hot air quotas. NGOs already work to convince parties to refrain from using the 'hot air loophole', and they will probably shame parties that buy hot air quotas from Russia and CEE countries. However, as Newell (2000, p151) points out, private interfirm trading removes an element of public oversight, thus reducing the scope for NGO influence.

NGOs fear that, combined, these loopholes could mean there will be no actual reduction in the global GHG emissions, putting the integrity of the Kyoto Protocol at stake. To persuade parties to refrain from using the loopholes, Greenpeace has developed sophisticated computer models with 'loophole analysis', showing country-specific data on the potential consequences of exploiting the loopholes (interview with Raquet, 2002).23

Fourth, although Annex I parties are the main targets of NGO attention, NGOs may also be able to influence the performance of non-Annex I parties. The transfer of technology from Annex I parties to non-Annex I parties under the Climate Convention will be administered through the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The World Bank's policy with respect to GEF is in general to include NGOs in the development and implementation of the facility (Princen and Finger, 1994, p19). The Bank meets regularly with large Washington-based environmental NGOs (Princen and Finger, 1994, p6). One specific point of entrance for NGOs in the climate case is the Ad Hoc Working Group on Global Warming and Energy, under the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the GEF (Newell, 2000, p150). NGOs can try to ensure the quality of technology transferred from Annex I to non-Annex I parties, as well as its appropriateness to local circumstances, but it is likely that governments themselves will secure firm control with capital-intensive projects (Newell, 2000, p150).

Finally, the questions of verification and monitoring (Articles 5, 7 and 8 in the Protocol) are extremely complex and boring for the media and the public - a general problem with the issue area (interview with Gulowsen, 2002). The complex and technical nature of verification and monitoring may be a considerable problem with regard to transparency and openness. Most NGOs realise that, although it will be a tremendous challenge for them to make the whole issue area more interesting to the public at large, it is a necessary step to improve future climate performance.

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