Reviews of registration

A Party involved in a project activity or at least three members of the Executive Board may request a review of the registration of that project activity. 3/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 41 sets out the parameters for reviewing a request for registration:

The review by the Executive Board shall be made in accordance with the following provisions:

  1. It shall be related to issues associated with the validation requirements
  2. It shall be finalized no later than at the second meeting following the request for review, with the decision and the reasons for it being communicated to the project participants and the public (3/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 41).

The procedure for a review of registration is set out in Procedures for Review of Requests for Registration (EB 55, Annex 40) which replaced Revision to the Clarifications to facilitate the implementation of the procedures for review as referred to in paragraph 41 of the Modalities and Procedures for Clean Development Mechanism (Annex III to decision 4/CMP.1) (EB 38, Annex 20). Note that 38/CMP.5 revoked Annexes III and IV to decision 4/CMP.1, and requests for registration which are placed under review after the adoption of these new procedures (i.e. 30 July 2010), will be processed using these new procedures. However, requests for registration which had been placed under review prior to the adoption of these new procedures will be processed in accordance with the previous procedures (i.e. Annex III to the decision 4/CMP.1).

The new procedures for review, which can be accessed here (Version 1.1, EB 55, Annex 40), were introduced to elaborate on the provision indecision 2/CMP.5, paragraph 39.

In accordance with 3/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 5(o), the Executive Board has provided clarifications to facilitate the implementation of the procedure for reviews of registration. That decision provided that:

The Executive Board shall supervise the CDM, under the authority and guidance of the COP/MOP, and be fully accountable to the COP/MOP. In this context, the Executive Board shall:

o. Elaborate and recommend to the COP/MOP for adoption at its next session procedures for conducting the reviews referred to in paragraphs 41 and 65 below including, inter alia, procedures to facilitate consideration of information from Parties, stakeholders and UNFCCC accredited observers (3/CMP.1, Annex, paragraph 5(o), previously 17/CP.7, Annex, paragraph 5(o)).

The latest clarifications are contained in Procedures for Review of Requests for Registration (EB 55, Annex 40) (which replaces earlier guidance in EB 38, Annex 20; EB 29, Annex 15; EB 28, Annex 41; EB 27, Annex 15; EB 25, Annex 44; EB 24, Annex 28; EB 22, Annex 18; EB 21, Annex 23; and EB 16, Annex 5). These procedures are described below.

The Guidelines for the consideration of request for review and review cases (EB 59, Annex 14 which replaces EB 49, Annex 21) compiles the major criteria for decision making in the review process.

Step 1: Request for review

All Executive Board members are entitled to request a review. A request for review may be made where the request for registration raises concerns to a reasonable reader regarding whether the proposed project activity complies with applicable CDM rules requirements (EB 59, Annex 14 paras 1-9). It is expected members would request for review where:

The information contained in the request for registration or issuance does not demonstrate that the project activity meets the applicable CDM rules and requirements for registration. It is therefore expected that members would be specific regarding the nature of the concern; including reference to the source of the concern within the submitted documents (EB 59, Annex 14, para 10).

By way of guidance EB 49, Annex 21, para 6 provides the following specific examples:

  1. The request for registration/issuance contains a clear breach of the Executive Board's existing guidance, e.g. the monitoring plan does not comply with the methodology, the DOE has not reported its activities in accordance with the VVM, the PDD has not been completed in a transparent manner in accordance with published guidance, the monitoring report has not been completed in a transparent manner in accordance with the registered monitoring plan;
  2. There are confusing or inconsistent statements or data which may lead a reasonable reader to derive a different conclusion than the DOE (EB 49, Annex 21, para 6).

It is expected members would request for review where:

  1. The validation/verification report does not contain sufficient information to demonstrate to a reasonable reader that the project activity complies with the requirements of the CMP or the Executive Board;
  2. In particular for requests for registration this would imply that the information available indicates that the project activity may not be additional or the methodology may not be applicable or may be applied incorrectly;
  3. In particular for requests for issuance this would imply that the information available indicates that the monitoring has not been conducted in accordance with the monitoring plan or methodology or the project activity has not been implemented in accordance with the registered PDD (EB 49, Annex 21, para 7).

The process of requesting a review is as follows (adapted from the Procedures for Review of Requests for Registration (EB 55, Annex 40) and Procedures for Requests of Registration of Proposed CDM Project Activities (EB 54, Annex 28)):

EB 54, Annex 28 sets out the procedure for requesting a review of a request for registration:

20. A request for review by a Party involved in the proposed project activity shall be sent by the relevant designated national authority to the Executive Board, through the secretariat, using official means of communication (such as recognized official letterhead and signature or an official dedicated e-mail account). A request for review by any member of the Executive Board shall be made by notifying the Executive Board through the secretariat.

21. The secretariat shall acknowledge the receipt of a request for review and promptly make it available to the Executive Board.

22. A request for review shall be considered to be received by the Executive Board on the date it has been received by the secretariat. A request for review will not be considered by the Executive Board if it is received after 17:00 GMT of the last day of the 28 day period following the publication of the request for registration.

23. A request for review shall:

a. include the latest CDM project activity registration review form (F-CDM-RR) adopted by the Executive Board,

b. provide reasons for the request for review, based on the latest version of the 'Clean Development Mechanism Validation and Verification Manual' and other CDM requirements, and any supporting documentation.

24. If a Party involved in a proposed CDM project activity or three Executive Board members request a review of the request for registration, the secretariat shall:

a. notify the project participants and the DOE which validated the proposed project activity that a Party involved in a proposed CDM project activity or at least three Executive Board members have requested a review of the request for registration,

b. mark the request for registration as "under review" on the UNFCCC CDM website (EB 54, Annex 28, paragraphs 20-24).

Procedures for Review of Requests for Registration further adds to the procedures for requesting a review. Namely:

7. If a Party involved in a proposed CDM project activity or at least three Executive Board members request a review of the request for registration, the secretariat shall:

a. Notify the project participants and the DOE that validated the proposed project activity that a Party involved in a proposed CDM project activity or at least three Executive Board members have requested a review of the request for registration;

b. Make publicly available an anonymous version of each request for review form;

c. Assign a team comprising two experts from the Registration and Issuance Team ("RIT Team") to participate in the assessment of the request for review. The secretariat shall appoint one of the assigned Team members to serve as the lead, who shall be responsible for all communications with the secretariat.

8. The project participants and the DOE shall provide responses to the issues identified in the request for review no later than 28 calendar days after the notification of the request for review.

9. For each issue (or sub-issue) raised in the request for review, the project participants and DOE shall either:

a. Respond by making any revisions to the project design document (PDD) and/or validation report (VR) that they deem necessary to, inter alia, ensure that all facts are clearly stated and sufficiently validated; or

b. Respond in writing by addressing why no revisions to the PDD and/or VR are necessary.

10. The secretariat shall schedule the commencement of the review of the request for registration in accordance with its operational plans and in accordance with any relevant instructions from the Executive Board. These plans and instructions shall be made publicly available. Upon scheduling the commencement date, the secretariat shall inform the project participants and DOE of this scheduled commencement date and any alterations to it.

11. The commencement of the review shall be defined as the date on which the secretariat notifies the project participants and the DOE that the review has commenced (EB 55, Annex 40, paragraphs 7-11).

Step 2: Assessment

Both the secretariat and the RIT Team must then concurrently and independently make an assessment of the request for registration, each following their own set of  parameters.

The Secretariat makes an assessment:

a) in the context of the reasons for the request for review as indicated in the request for review form and the CDM requirements; and

b) taking into account the responses of the projects participants and the DOE.

The RIT Team makes an assessment:

a) in accordance with the RIT Terms of Reference; and

b) taking into account the responses of the projects participants and the DOE.

The assessments are to be finalised no later than two weeks after the commencement of the review, and must propose a decision to either register the proposed project activity or reject the request for registration. If the proposed decision is to reject the request for registration, the assessment report must contain a proposed ruling detailing an explanation of the reasons and rationale (EB 55, Annex 40, paragraphs 12-16).

Furthermore, both the secretariat and the RIT Team have communication requirements, namely:

18. The RIT Team shall communicate its assessment, which should include a proposed decision, to the Executive Board by submitting it to the secretariat (EB 59, Annex 14).

19. The secretariat shall inform the Executive Board of the availability of each assessment, and make each assessment available to the Executive Board, together with any responses from the project participant and DOE and any revision to the project documentation (EB 55, Annex 40, paragraphs 18-19).

Step 3: Consideration by the Executive Board

Following the consideration of the project participants' and designated operational entity's (DOE) response(s) to the request for review of a request for registration, the Board shall decide to either to:

  1. Register the proposed project activity; or
  2. Reject the request for registration of the proposed project activity.

The Board should decide to reject the request for registration where the request does not contain sufficient information to demonstrate to a reasonable reader that the proposed project activity complies with the applicable CDM rules and requirements for the registration of proposed project activities.

Specifically the Board should decide to reject the request for registration if it:

  1. Contains information which indicates that the project activity does not comply with the applicable requirements;
  2. Contains information which indicates that the validation activity has not been conducted in a manner that complies with the relevant requirements of the latest version of either the 'Standard for accrediting operational entities' or the 'Clean development mechanism validation and verification manual' (VVM);
  3. Contains contradictory facts regarding the compliance of the project activity with the applicable CDM rules and requirements;
  4. Does not contain sufficient facts or evidence to confirm compliance with applicable CDM rules and requirements;
  5. Does not provide evidence for how those facts have been validated.

The rejection of a request for registration should be limited to compliance with the requirements specified in the request for review. In exceptional cases, the Board may reject the request for registration when the response(s) to the request for review raises new critical concern(s) of the Board regarding whether the request for registration complies with other applicable CDM rules and requirements to register a proposed project activity. Prior to rejecting a request for registration based on exceptional circumstances, the Board may, at its prerogative, have a teleconference with the DOE and/or project participant(s) in an attempt to clarify concerns (EB 59, Annex 14, para 11-15).

Scenario 1: same proposed decision reached by secretariat and the RIT Team

The proposed decision becomes the final decision of the Executive Board after 20 days. A board member may object to the proposed decision, in which case the matter is placed before the Executive Board in the next Executive Board meeting (if objection made more than two weeks prior to the next meeting) or the subsequent meeting (if objection made within two weeks of the next meeting).

As a guideline, it is expected that members would only object to the proposed decision in situations where both assessments:

  1. Did not consider a fact that, if considered, would result in a different proposed decision;
  2. Contain an erroneous finding of fact that, if corrected, would result in a different proposed decision;
  3. Contain an unreasonable application of an applicable CDM rule or requirement that, if corrected, would result in a different proposed decision; or
  4. Contain an unreasonable application of an applicable CDM rule or requirement to the facts that, if corrected, would result in a different proposed decision (EB 59, Annex 14, para 21).

Scenario 2: different proposed decision reached by secretariat and the RIT Team

The Executive Board received both proposed decisions and considers them both in the in the next Executive Board meeting (if received more than two weeks prior to the next meeting) or the subsequent meeting (if received within two weeks of the next meeting).

In such situations the Board should apply the following process to its consideration of such reviews:

  1. Firstly, the secretariat will present whichever assessment has recommended the rejection of the project activity outlining the requirement being questioned and the facts considered in the assessment;
  2. Members and alternates may seek clarifications regarding the facts and evidence contained in the relevant request for registration or issuance, including the response to the request for review and the applicable requirements;
  3. Once members have received necessary clarifications, the Chair of the Board should invite members and alternates to express their opinion regarding the recommendation;
  4. On the basis of the opinions expressed, the Chair of the Board shall propose to the Board either to accept the recommendation or not;
  5. If consensus with the Chair's proposal is not achieved, the Chair shall proceed to seek adoption of a decision via a vote in accordance with the Rules of procedure of the Executive Board of the clean development mechanism (EB 59, Annex 14, para 25).

At the Executive Board Meeting, the Board must decide to either register the proposed activity or reject the request for registration (EB 55, Annex 40, paragraphs 20-24).

As a guideline, it is expected that members would only object to the proposed ruling in the following situations:

  1. The proposed ruling does not contain a sufficient basis or explanation for the decision contained in the ruling; and
  2. The ruling differs from the assessment that formed the basis from the decision. These differences include the following:
  1. The findings of fact;
  2. The interpretation of an applicable CDM rule or requirement; or
  3. The application of a CDM rule or requirement as applied to the facts (EB 59, Annex 14, para 23).

Step 4: Finalisation and Implementation of the Ruling

Scenario 1: final decision to approve the registration by Executive Board

25. If a final decision approves the registration of the project activity, the secretariat shall register the proposed project activity as a CDM project activity on the first working day subsequent to the finalization of the decision. The effective date of registration in such cases shall be day on which the latest revisions to the validation report and/or supporting documentation were submitted.

Scenario 2: final decision to reject the request for registration by Executive Board

26. If the final decision rejects the request for registration, the secretariat shall update the information on the UNFCCC CDM website accordingly on the first working day subsequent to the finalization of the decision. Furthermore, within three weeks of the final decision of the Executive Board, the secretariat will provide the Chair of the Executive Board with an information note, which shall contain a proposed final ruling incorporating the final decision.

The communication requirements related to the above decision making are set out below:

28. Once approved by the Chair of the Board, the secretariat shall make the proposed final ruling available to the Executive Board. The proposed final ruling shall become the final after 10 days, unless a member of the Executive Board objects to the proposed final ruling.

29. An objection by a member of the Executive Board shall be made by notifying the Chair of the Executive Board, giving reasons in writing, through the secretariat. The secretariat shall acknowledge the receipt of the objection and make it available to the Executive Board.

30. If an Executive Board member objects to the proposed final ruling more than two weeks prior to the next Executive Board meeting, the matter shall be placed on the agenda of the next. Executive Board meeting; otherwise it shall be placed on the agenda of the subsequent Executive Board meeting.

31. This formal ruling shall be made publicly available by the secretariat once approved by the Executive Board (EB 55, Annex 40, paragraphs 28-31).

When an objection is made by a member for the Board to a proposed decisions, that decisions shall be considered during a meet of the Board.

In such situations, the Board should apply the following process to its consideration of such reviews:

  1. Firstly the member(s) making an objection should present the reasons for the objection, making reference to the additional facts or interpretations relied on beyond the assessments;
  2. Members and alternates may seek clarifications regarding the presentation;
  3. The secretariat may provide any clarifications of the facts and evidence contained in the relevant request for registration or issuance, including the response to the request for review, and the applicable requirements;
  4. Once members have received necessary clarifications the Chair of the Board should invite members and alternates to express their opinion regarding the objection;
  5. After this discussion, the Chair shall determine and propose to the Board whether or not the objection should be further considered;
  6. If the Board decides that the objection requires further consideration the Board should follow the process outlined in part 3, scenario 2 above.

An objection made by a member of the Board to a proposed ruling document shall be considered during a meeting of the Board, as specified in the Procedure for review of requests for registration or the Procedure for review of requests for issuance of CERs 29.

In such situations, the Board should apply the following process to its consideration of such objections:

  1. Firstly the member(s) making an objection should present the reasons for the objection, making reference precise area of concerns within the draft and proposing an alternative;
  2. Members and alternates may seek clarifications regarding the presentation;
  3. The secretariat may provide any clarifications of a factual nature;
  4. Once members have received necessary clarifications the Chair should invite members and alternates to express their opinion regarding the objection;
  5. After this discussion, the Chair shall determine and propose to the Board whether or not the objection should accounted for in the final revision;
  6. If the objection is upheld by the Board, the Chair shall request the secretariat to revise the document for adoption at the same meeting of the Board.

Related Topics

Party involved

Executive Board

Registration and Issuance Team (EB-RIT)

Requirements for validation (P)

Project participants

Designated operational entity (DOE)

UNFCCC secretariat

Review of registration (SSC)

Review of registration (A/R)

Review of registration (SSC A/R)

Review of registration (PoA)