The focal point is the project participant nominated in the statement of modalities of communication as the point of contact for that project, and therefore solely responsible for all communications with the CDM Executive Board. The term 'focal point' is not used in the CDM modalities and procedures, but has been adopted by market participants and is now in common usage.
Early common practice in submitting the modalities of communication was to nominate one project participant as the focal point. However, the UNFCCC Secretariat has confirmed that it will allow nomination of joint focal points in the modalities of communication. Provided the modalities of communication is clear as to how communications from and to the Executive Board are to be directed (and on what topics), then the nomination of joint focal points will be acceptable.
It is not necessary that the focal point be a project participant.
Role of the focal point
The responsibilities of the focal point may include:
- handling all communications between the project participants and the Executive Board;
- submitting a request for distribution to the Executive Board requesting the distribution of CERs produced by the project and specifying how the CERs are to be distributed; and
- adding and/or removing project participants.
Requests for distribution
The modalities of communication may allocate full responsibility to the focal point for communicating with the Executive Board, including in relation to requests for distribution. The UNFCCC Secretariat has confirmed that, unless the modalities of communication provides otherwise, it will be assumed that a sole focal point has full delegated authority with respect to requests for distribution of CERs. Therefore, unless the statement of modalities of communication specifies otherwise, the request for distribution only needs to be signed by the focal point and not by the other project participants.
The Executive Board will not review the underlying contractual arrangements by which the other project participants have agreed to allow the focal point to give instructions on their behalf, but will rely solely on the word of the focal point, unless the modalities of communication requires some other approval to be provided. Any disputes regarding the distribution or legal title of the CERs do not involve the Executive Board and will usually be covered by the terms of contract between the project participants.
The UNFCCC Secretariat has provided a form to be submitted via the focal point to request the transfer of CERs from the pending account into nominated holding accounts to be "used byproject participant representatives, defined in accordance with the modalities of communication, to request forwarding of CERs from the pending account to holding accounts". This form has not been publicly released but the relevant extract is provided below.
Section 3: Declaration
I/We hereby approve the forwarding of the type of CERs specified in section 1 above in accordance with the distribution specified in section 2 above.
I/We do so in the knowledge that, following the forwarding of these CERs, to the account(s) specified above, such CERs will be registered in the name of the holder of that account(s).
I/We confirm that this request for forwarding is being made in accordance with the previously advised modalities of communication. Name of project participant(s):
Name of project participant representative(s):
Adding and removing project participants
Unlike requests for distribution, the focal point will have the right to add and remove project participants only if the modalities of communication explicitly gives the focal point full delegated authority to do so.