unctad.org | Single-year Expert meeting on trade and climate change: trade and investment opportunities and challenges under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
Single-year Expert meeting on trade and climate change: trade and investment opportunities and challenges under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
27 - 29 April 2009

Key Issues

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The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol provide the framework for a collaborative and multilateral effort to combat climate change, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities among their parties.

The CDM - one of the three "flexibility mechanisms" identified in the Kyoto Protocol that participating countries can use to meet their greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets - is the only mechanism that involves developing countries.

Its purpose is to benefit both the investor and host countries by contributing to sustainable development in the host developing countries, and by allowing investor countries to meet their GHG reduction targets at the lowest possible cost, by taking advantage of the lower marginal cost of reducing GHG emissions in developing countries. In return for their investments, investor countries receive certified emissions reductions (CERs).

There are currently 1,300 registered CDM projects in 49 countries, and about another 3,064 projects in the project-registration pipeline.

The CDM, as defined in article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, is an important instrument for promoting foreign investment in GHG emission reduction, and it simultaneously addresses the issue of sustainable development. Moreover, although the CDM does not have an explicit technology-transfer mandate, it may contribute to technology transfer by financing emission reduction projects using technologies currently not available in the host countries.

The complexities involved in conducting, monitoring, verifying and enforcing CDM projects allow considerable margin for the market development of various service activities, including engineering, and environmental, legal and verification services. Within the international framework for the CDM, many legal, financial and technical issues are currently under discussion in the context of the Bali Roadmap.

The experience to date shows that most developing countries, in particular the least developed countries (LDCs) which have limited institutional capacity, are facing a significant challenge in taking a proactive approach to participating as equal and reliable partners in the CDM. Around 75 per cent of CDM projects are hosted by four developing countries only.

The Expert Meeting is expected to contribute to a better understanding of the CDM, of how this mechanism functions and how its contribution to sustainable development in developing countries might be enhanced.

It is also expected to make concrete recommendations on how to overcome the existing obstacles to greater CDM investment flows, and to give guidance to UNCTAD´s work in this area, in accordance with the mandate contained in paragraph 100 of the Accra Accord.

Inputs from experts

Experts nominated by member States are encouraged to submit brief papers (approximately five pages) as contributions to the work of the meeting.

The papers should be submitted to the UNCTAD secretariat in advance of the meeting.

The papers will be made available at the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.

Experts are requested to submit papers to the UNCTAD secretariat as soon as possible, addressed to:

Mr. Lucas Assunção
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

fax: +41 22 917 02 47
e-mail: lucas.assuncao@unctad.org



The Expert Meeting on Trade and Climate Change: Trade and Investment Opportunities and Challenges under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) will be held from 27 to 29 April 2009, in room XXVI of the Palais des Nations, Geneva. The meeting will be opened at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 27 April.


UNCTAD member States are requested to nominate experts no later than 6 April 2009.

Experts, who will participate in the meeting in their personal capacities, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject. They may be selected from governmental and non governmental organizations, private entities or academia.

The meeting may be of particular interest to policymakers in ministries of commerce and ministries of the environment, trade and climate change negotiators, investment promotion agencies, national climate change focal points, and also to officers responsible for CDM administration at the national level.

In addition, experts from international and regional organizations will be invited as resource persons.

Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting, as well as non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by 6 April 2009.

Financial assistance

Limited funds will be made available to finance the participation of a selected number of officially nominated experts from developing countries, including least developed countries. Governments requiring funding are therefore invited to explicitly request financing in their letters of nomination. The decision as to which experts should receive financing will be based on the principle of equitable geographical representation, on the needs of the beneficiaries and on the expertise of the experts concerned, and also on the type and availability of funding in the trust fund for the financing of participation by experts. Changes in nominated experts will be considered as new nominations.

Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 27 March 2009 and should be accompanied by the following information about the nominee:

  • Curriculum vitae

  • Mailing address

  • Telephone and fax number

  • E-mail address

  • Name of a contact person in the country´s permanent mission in Geneva

In this connection, it should be noted that once the list of experts to be financed has been finalized, all travel arrangements will be made in accordance with United Nations rules and regulations. The least costly fare will be authorized.

These experts are expected to prepare brief papers on issues they consider particularly important. The papers will be made available at the meeting, in the form and the language in which they are received.

Background documents and contributed papers

The provisional agenda for the meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, is being circulated as document TD/B/C.I/EM.1/1. In order to facilitate the discussion, the UNCTAD secretariat has prepared a background note, which will be circulated as TD/B/C.I/EM.1/2.

In addition, all experts are encouraged to prepare and submit brief papers dealing with one or several of the issues contained in the provisional agenda to the meeting, and with issues relating to their country´s experience in CDM projects.

These papers will be made available to the meeting in the form and the language in which they are received.


The meeting will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva, in the Palais des Nations. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the six official languages of the United Nations.

Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badges from the United Nations Security Service, Pregny Gate entrance, 14 Avenue de la Paix. The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Because of the security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 9 a.m. in order to complete entry procedures in good time and proceed to the meeting in the E Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais. Participants are requested to carry a passport or similar national identity card with them. Taxis are not permitted to enter the grounds of the Palais des Nations, and visitors will therefore be dropped off at the entrance gates. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the United Nations Security Service gives special clearance.

Further information and contact details

Nominations and related communications concerning representation at the meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; fax: + 41(0) 22 917 0214; e-mail: meetings@unctad.org.

All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinator in the substantive division, whose contact details are: Tel.: +41 (0)22 917 5731; fax: +41 (0)22 917 0247; e-mail: lucas.assuncao@unctad.org.


Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
2 March 2009


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