Wither UN objectivity?

November 15, 2000

At an informal meeting with NGOs during the negotiations on Tuesday, UNEP executive director Klaus Töpfer refused to comment when asked if UNEP was working overtime to position itself as a broker for CDM projects. He strongly advocated the inclusion of sinks in the CDM, despite the uncertainties involved. This would give UNEP the opportunity to participate and attract some funds for his cash-strapped organisation.

In 1998, Töpfer had tried to get UNEP a role in the CDM by proposing the establishment of an intergovernmental body on economic instruments for environmental conventions. But this was opposed by G77 and China, who said the IPCC, an organisation which UNEP co-hosts with the World Meteorological Organisation, is already involved in this work.

For his support to the sinks projects, we would like to remind Mr Töpfer that his organisation also hosts the biodiversity convention, and a hasty adoption of sinks under CDM could have disastrous effects on local biodiversity.