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L’énergie dans le développement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie

Yves Le Bars
Elsa Faugère
Philippe Menanteau
et al.

New Caledonia’s international integration

What scenarios can be envisaged to integrate New Caledonia into the international dynamics of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change?

Texte intégral

1The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) constitutes the framework in which all climate change initiatives are negotiated internationally. New Caledonia, like the overseas departments (DOM) and overseas collectivities (COM) is currently, via France, part of this Convention.

2The Kyoto Protocol is an instrument under the Convention. Its purpose is to actually reduce the planet’s GHG emissions in an organised and restrictive manner while protecting food production and ensuring sustainable development. Unlike the overseas departments, the overseas collectivities and New Caledonia are not subject to the obligations of this Protocol.

3New Caledonia’s per capita income clearly places it in the group of industrialised countries that should lead the way in the fight against climate change. Moreover, its per capita emissions are higher than those of Metropolitan France and even those of the United States. Therefore, an absence of commitment from New Caledonia could attract international attention especially that of Small Island Developing States (SIDS or Aosis) which have really worked hard towards creating United Nations instruments on the climate, the Convention and the Protocol.


The 1990 IPCC report and the setting up of the Convention on the climate

4After the first IPCC report in 1990, the United Nations decided to set up the UNFCCC at the beginning of 1991. It was finalised in May 1992 and came into force in 1994 when enough countries had it ratified via parliament.

5This convention laid down both the framework and the principles, such as that of article 3.1, “the common but differentiated responsibility of the countries [which should] take the lead in combating climate change”.

6Several types of obligations were imposed upon the industrialised countries listed in annex I of the Convention: to regularly provide the inventory of their GHG emissions and indicate the action they are taking to reduce these emissions, but also to help developing countries (not listed in annex 1) to combat climate change or adapt to it.

7Within the group of developing countries, a distinction was made between different categories of countries according to their vulnerability to climate change and to the response measures taken, i.e. reducing the consumption of fossil fuels to limit climate changes. Furthermore, particular attention was paid to the least advanced countries.

8However, the framework convention did not lay down binding objectives for quantitative reductions in GHG emissions.

From the setting up of the Kyoto Protocol to its implementation in 2005

9Aware that the objectives were inadequate and that no legally binding measures were included, the countries that were party to the Convention decided to draft the Kyoto Protocol in 1995, based on the Berlin Mandate. This stated that only the developed countries would have to commit themselves to making quantified reductions. The goal was to reduce emissions by about 2010 (thus the commitment period from 2008 to 2012) to a level below that of 1990. This was the basis on which the Kyoto Protocol was agreed in December 1997.

10Before ratifying it, annex 1 countries wanted to know about the methods they would have to follow to comply with their commitments. The Protocol did not specify this. This gave rise to long negotiations which led to the Bonn and Marrakech accords in 2001.

11The European Union, Japan and almost all the industrialised countries in annex 1 of the Convention then ratified it except for the United States where Congress opposed it as long as countries likely to compete with the American economy – China, India and Brazil – did not make commitments to reduce their own emissions. Therefore, it was not until ratification by Russia that the Protocol could finally enter into force on 16 February 2005.

12As is often the case in international climate negotiations, Australia followed the United States’s but then in 2007 decided to go back on its decision.

The period after 2012, the IPCC’s new assessments and the G8’s declaration at the 2008 Hokkaido Summit

13Meanwhile, scientific research (the 2001 and 2007 IPCC reports) has allowed us to understand the climate issue better. According to the research presented in Copenhagen in March 2009, with the current pace of emissions, the mean sea level could rise by one meter by 2100 and would continue rising afterwards.

14Scientists now estimate that if we want to stabilise the climate and avoid all uncontrollable aberrations, we will have to halve current world emissions by 2050! In 2050, temperatures will be 2°C higher than now (see. “Emissions and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in New Caledonia”). It was on the basis of the IPCC’s most recent research that Heads of State present at the G8 Hokkaido Summit in July 2008 adopted the goal of stabilising the climate rather than stabilising emissions. This means that emissions must be halved by 2050 and that between 2012 and 2020 emissions must be reduced far more than previously envisaged under the Kyoto Protocol. These commitments will have to be taken in December 2009 and/or after, still within the Framework Convention on climate change, with an amended Kyoto Protocol or a new protocol (in Copenhagen for example) which could take up many of the obligations and implementation methods of the Kyoto Protocol.

15In 2009, the President of the United States indicated that his country was willing to take part in the fight against climate change during the post-2012 period. To what extent and on what basis will countries like China, Brazil and India accept to take commitments to reduce their own emissions?

16Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention, emphasised in Poznan in December 2008: “…that the Copenhagen Treaty in December 2009 would not be detailed. He stated that “it was essential to clearly define commitments [to reduce GHG emissions], financing and institutions (…), so that there would be no need for further negotiations on basic points.” Therefore after the Copenhagen meeting, negotiations on the details, i.e. on the implementation methods, could take place. Some people even believe that an agreement can only be reached after 2009.

Important dates related to initiatives concerning climate change
1979 First World Climate Conference in Geneva and second oil crisis.
1985 and 1987 Meeting in Villach, in Austria, organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the International Council for Science (ICSU) recommending the development of research on the greenhouse effect.
1988 Decision to set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate hange (IPCC) under the auspices of the United Nations, particularly the WMO and the UNEP.
1990 The IPCC hand in the first report warning that anthropic GHG emissions could represent climatic hazards. The United Nations General Assembly decide to set up the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to draw up a Framework Convention on Climate Change.
1991 The INC is set up.
1992 In May, government delegates approve the Framework Convention on Climate Change. In June, this is presented to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro.
1994 The Convention comes into force after being ratified by parliaments of enough United Nations member States.
1995 First Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP) held in Berlin. The Berlin Mandate is adopted to draw up a protocol laying down legally binding obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
1997 Third COP leading to the Kyoto Protocol.
1998 Fourth COP: Buenos-Aires Mandate aimed at setting up the Protocol application rules.
2000 Special IPCC report on “Land-use, land-use change and forestry”. Sixth COP in the Hague: negotiations on Protocol application rules fail.
2001 Seventh COP: Bonn agreement and Marrakech accords concerning Protocol application rules. Third IPCC report indicating that if we want to stabilise the climate, we shall have to halve world GHG emissions by 2050.
2005 The Protocol comes into force after being ratified by parliaments of enough United Nations member States. COP in Montreal once again specifies the Protocol application rules for the first commitment period (2008-2012) and negotiations start for the post-2012 period. Turnaround of Small Island States with regards the integration of forestation and deforestation.
2006 COP in Nairobi.
2007 Fourth IPCC report confirms the need to drastically reduce GHG emissions to stabilise the climate and prevent uncontrollable changes. Bali COP and Mandate.
2008 At the Hokkaido Summit the G8 adopt the goal to halve world GHG emissions by 2050. COP in Poznan, Poland. The European Union undertakes to reduce its 1990 level of GHG emissions by 20 % and by up to 30 % if there is an international agreement to do so.
2009 COP in Copenhagen in December, during which commitments to limit and reduce emissions in United Nations countries during the 2012-2020 period should be finalised.


17Negotiating sessions on the Convention began at the start of 1991 and then ended with the final version in May 1992 in New York, after four meetings which each lasted about a fortnight. All United Nations’ agreements are reached by consensus. It is quite difficult to renegotiate them later, even if this may sometimes be justified. Therefore, one must be present, not only at the official negotiating sessions, but also at the negotiation contact groups where the different proposals are drawn up on the basis of the interests of the groups of countries.

18These groups of countries first negotiate common positions that they will then defend, by assigning a spokesperson for the contact groups where the texts are drawn up. The Ministers of the Environment of countries which are Parties of the Convention or Protocol usually take over from the negotiators at the end of the COP which is usually held at the end of the year. It is only when there is a point at issue that the proposals of the contact groups are then submitted to the plenary session and then possibly to the Ministerial Segment. All these negotiations are carried out in English. The process may seem rather arduous but it cannot be avoided.

Negotiations Groups
Annex 1 Negotiations Groups
At the time of the Kyoto negotiations, there were 15 members in the European Union group but now there are 27 members.
The JUSSCANZ, initially composed of Australia, Canada, Japan, Norway, New Zealand and Switzerland, later split up into an “umbrella group” (United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan) and an “environmental integrity” group (Switzerland, South Korea and some other countries).
Canada, a member of the Kyoto Protocol, and the United States, currently non-members, have somewhat divergent interests, but their interests may get closer once again by 2012.When the time comes, it will no doubt be possible to create a group for the developed island States (including Iceland).
Non-Annex 1 Negotiation Groups the G77 and China
The group of G77 and China includes all the developing countries, in other words about 140 countries. Within this set, there are groups with divergent interests and sometimes with even totally opposed interests:
■ The OPEC and SIDS (Small Island Developing States) group;
■ The GRULAC which includes countries in Central America and South America, excluding Brazil and Mexico;
■ The African countries group;
■ The LDC group;
■ The Asian countries group.
There are also unofficial groups, like that of the emerging countries (China, India, Brazil and sometimes South Africa). Obviously, new coalitions may still appear.

19Although the United Nations only recognises States, these can make up their delegation as they wish. Moreover, the French-speaking world regularly organises information sessions and publishes a bulletin called “Objectif Terres” which describes negotiations.


20First of all, let us remember the Convention’s objective: “The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner”.

21There are two main categories of country with a subset for developing countries:

  • Wealthy nations listed in annex I to the Convention (and generally in annex B of the Kyoto Protocol);
  • The Major Developing Economies (MDES) not listed in annex I. The minimum obligations of the countries are indicated in the box.

Main obligations of annex-1 countries under the Convention
National Inventory of GHG emissions (article 4a)
Annex-1 countries and MDES are required to provide these inventories per country. They must be drawn up in accordance with the rules described in the IPCC inventories methodological guidelines and according to formats chosen by the Convention.
Emissions are first expressed as weights for each gas and then converted into CO2 equivalents taking account of the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of each gas for a period of 100 years. They are then divided up into various categories (energy, industry, solvents, agriculture, land-use change and forestry, waste and others, as appropriate).
These inventories may be subject to audits, including members of annex-1 and non-annex-1 countries. They are used to calculate the emissions and from these, the reductions that countries will have to make.
Only emissions that take place on the territory of the country under consideration are counted (emissions from imported or exported products and services are not taken into account).
In France, the CITEPA conducts these inventories for the Ministry but the government is in charge of sending the inventories to the United Nations, in the format required.
National communications (article 4.1b)
They must be established periodically according to the decisions and formats decided upon by the COP. Major developing economies, like China, India, Brazil and South Africa have to conduct inventories and national communications just like annex-1 countries, but less frequently. The least advanced countries with very low per capita GHG emissions may simply conduct national adaptation programmes of action for climate change (NAPA).
Miscellaneous Communications
Throughout the negotiations, various notices, information to annex-I Parties and evidence of actions may be required. For example, towards non-annex-1 countries, on technology transfers, support for the most vulnerable developing countries and for the least advanced countries.
Other commitments of annex-1 countries
Annex-I countries partially fulfil their obligations towards MDES, via the Global Environment Fund (GEF) (financing training for developing countries, particularly for the production of inventories, national communications, national adaptation programmes of action for climate change, etc.).

22Currently, New Caledonia, as Party to the Convention via France, has the obligations of the Convention’s annex-1 countries, but it does not have to provide any specific inventories of its emissions (these are included in France’s communications in the section on emissions in Metropolitan France, Overseas Territories, Overseas Collectivities and New Caledonia) or any specific national communications. The French government is responsible for the information communicated or to be communicated to the United Nations.


What makes the Kyoto Protocol significant and the delays to its ratification

23For the Kyoto Protocol to come into force at least 55 Party countries to the Convention had to ratify it and the emissions of the annex-1 countries had to represent at least 55 % of the total volume of carbon dioxide emissions of all the Parties listed in this annex. Without ratification by the United States, these conditions made the Protocol’s implementation extremely difficult. It was Russia’s ratification that finally allowed the deadlock to be broken and the threshold to be crossed so that the Protocol could actually come into force in 2005.

  • 1 With special conditions for countries like Iceland which are described later.

Emission reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol between 1990 and 2010
Industrialised countries undertook to reduce their annual emissions by 5.5 % on average compared to 1990 levels.
Worldwide distribution:
-8 % for the European Union; -7 % for the United States; -6 % for Japan, Canada and Poland;
0 % for New Zealand, the Russian Federation and Ukraine; +1 % for Norway; +8 % for Australia; +10 % for Iceland1.
European Union distribution of emission reduction objectives:
-28 % for Germany and Denmark; -13 % for Austria; -12.5 % for Great Britain; -7.5 % for Belgium; -6.5 % for Italy; -6 % for the Netherlands; 0 % for France and Finland; +4 % for Sweden; +13 % for Ireland; +15 % for Spain; +25 % for Greece; +27 % for Portugal.
It should also be noted that the original 15 European Union member states are jointly liable to the United Nations for the 8 % reduction of their emissions compared to 1990 levels. Countries that joined the European Union recently are not entitled to share this burden. This is why Poland must reduce its emissions by 6 % while Portugal can increase them by 27 %.

24Within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol, all annex-1 countries had to move towards emission reductions compared to 1990 levels. However, these commitments were adjusted to take account of special situations in various countries, including a small country like Iceland.

25These details show that a great deal of effort is required to draw up an international agreement, especially when this is binding and concerns economic development, as is the case with the Kyoto Protocol: each government therefore tries to protect its interests.

How were the levels of emission limitations and reductions determined for the various countries?

26There is no official document explaining the distribution of the climate burden. However, we can attempt the following explanations:

  • As population growth in the United States is higher than that in the European Union, we can understand why there is a 1 % difference in emission reductions between these two entities.
  • As Norway uses a lot of hydroelectric energy, it was difficult to reduce emissions in the energy sector so it was authorised to increase its emissions by 1 %.
  • The original 15 European Union member-states had collectively undertaken to reduce their emissions by 8 % compared to 1990 levels but the notion of sharing the burden within this group had also been envisaged. Thus, Sweden, Finland and France whose proportion of nuclear energy and hydroelectric energy is high were allowed to keep their emissions at 1990 levels. However, countries that had recently joined the Union (Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Greece) were allowed to increase their emissions. Germany undertook to reduce its emissions by more than 8 %. This seemed a realistic goal considering the energy savings that could be made in the former East Germany.
  • Even before the Kyoto negotiations started, Australia asked for emissions caused by land-use change and forestry to be included in the calculation of quantified commitments, in its own case. Indeed, it was the only annex-1 country whose emissions had increased since 1990 because of land-use changes.

27The emission reductions that industrialised countries were asked to make under the Kyoto Protocol were very low (- 5 % on average between then and 2012 compared to 1990 levels). Therefore, it was simply the GHG emission inventories that countries had been obliged to give to the United Nations that were used as a basis, without taking into account emissions caused by land-use changes and forestry (except for Australia). Based on the inventories provided by the countries, the GHG emission reductions that the countries were committed to making could really be checked. It was obviously an ill-fitting solution but acceptable for most countries if some adjustments could be made. For Iceland, however, specific negotiations were required.

  • 2 Total GHG emissions = Population * [GNP per capita * fossil energy consumption per GNP unit * aver (...)
  • 3 Total GHG emissions = Population * [GNP per capita * fossil energy consumption per GNP unit5 * ave (...)

28How else could it have been organised? The ideal way would have been to accurately determine the average GHG emissions per capita for each country, as was attempted with the Kaya identity2 used for IPCC emission scenarios, or as could be done with the Kaya-Riedacker formula3 when emissions caused by land-use changes are taken into account. In this case, we would have needed to be able to determine, for each country, the emissions resulting from the importation of products and services, and deduct those attributable to exportations, but the data was not available to do this.

The solution for Iceland

29What solution was found for Iceland? First of all, it was allowed to increase its emissions by 10 % compared to 1990 levels: it is the highest increase rate shown for countries in annex B, if the European Union is taken as a whole. However, this was not enough, therefore decision 14/CP7 of the Bonn and Marrakech Accords was taken which defines, for the first commitment period and for countries whose emissions represent less than 0.05 % of industrialised countries’ emissions in 1990 and which appear in annex I (paragraph 2a), single industrial process facilities or an expansion of an industrial process facility commissioned after 1990.

30When emissions from these countries’ single industrial process exceed 5 % of the country’s total emissions in 1990 (which would also be the case if New Caledonia appeared in annex B), these emissions must be presented separately and must not be included in the total national emissions listed in the Party’s inventory, insofar as they would lead to the authorised emission level being exceeded (over 10 % more than 1990 levels in the case of Iceland).

31It is also important to use renewable energies to reduce emissions per unit of products obtained from these industrial sites and to adopt the best environmental practices and technologies to reduce the emissions from industrial processes. Finally, emissions produced at these sites must not exceed an average of 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year during the first commitment period. These emissions are then excluded from the scope of the emissions market whose operating rules are defined in article 17 of the Protocol.

What steps can countries take to comply with the emission limitation or reduction commitments that they have made under the Kyoto Protocol?

32It is up to each country to fulfil its commitments and decide which policies to implement. Therefore, countries can decide to adopt specific measures (taxes, subsidies, various tax allowances, regulations, etc.), provided that they do not contradict current international regulations, particularly those adopted within the framework of the WTO or, for member-states, those of the European Union.

33The introduction of new taxes is always unpopular. It is no different for “domestic carbon taxes”, except when they are fiscally neutral and the State manages to explain it properly to the general public. Very recently, a party which campaigned on this issue won the elections in the state of British Columbia, Canada.

34During the first commitment period, it is also possible to take into account article 3.4 of the Protocol relating to the specific accounting of car-bon-storage changes, i.e. in rural areas (forests, prairies, etc.). Moreover, this measure can also be complemented by the use of the three Kyoto flexibility mechanisms, i.e. the implementation of the emissions trading market, the creation of projects within the framework of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the joint implementation of projects by annex-1 countries, provided that these countries have both signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

Taking into account forests and land-use changes under the Protocol (articles 3.3 and 3.4)

35The European Union and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) were very opposed to the inclusion of “sinks” (increases in carbon stored in vegetation), for the first commitment period at least (2008-2012). However, Japan, the United States, Canada and the oil-producing countries wanted all emissions and emission reductions to be taken into account, including those attributable to forest management and to land-use changes in industrialised countries.

36This led to the inclusion of articles 3.3 and 3.4 without which the Kyoto Protocol could never have been achieved. In practical terms, the accounting methods used to integrate article 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol are very complicated and sometimes dissuasive. For more detailed information on these two articles concerning changes to carbon-storage in vegetation, refer to “Emissions and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in New Caledonia” in the summary and “Changes to carbon-storage in vegetation” and “New Caledonia’s international integration” on the CD-ROM included.

Emissions Trading market (ET)

37This mechanism, authorised in article 17 of the Protocol, should allow GHG emissions to be reduced at the lowest possible cost. In theory, countries simply have to oblige all their companies to reduce emissions by 10 %, for example. Those companies that could reduce emissions at a low cost (type-A companies) may decide to make investments and thus achieve compliance with the State’s requirements. However, those companies that would have to pay a high cost to reduce emissions (type-B companies) may decide not to make investments and to buy emission credits on a market that is fuelled by surplus emission reductions achieved at a lower cost by type-A companies, and to some extent under the CDM.

38When all goes well, the State therefore obtains the required emission reductions that the companies have achieved at the lowest cost. This mechanism also allows a certain amount of flexibility: imagine that a type-B company is planning to improve a process by buying a new and more efficient boiler for example, but it only intends to buy it in a few years time. In the meantime, this company can buy emission credits on the emission trading market. When it invests in the boiler, it will be able to sell the emission credits that it does not need for itself or keep them temporarily.

Compliance with emission reductions

39To ensure the system functions correctly, it must be possible to check companies’ emissions. This is why only the CO2 emissions from fossil fuels used by major companies that consume large amounts of energy were initially concerned. In France, since the first oil crisis, these major companies must give detailed information on their fossil fuel purchases. Thus, their past and current purchases are known, enabling us to calculate how much fossil fuel carbon dioxide they release.

40In addition, failure to comply with obligations to reduce emissions should be punished by strong sanctions and checks should be carried out on the emission reductions sold on the ET market to ensure that they have been legitimately achieved; otherwise this will give rise to forged emission reductions, which is not un-like forged currency. This is why emission credits sold on the ET market carry a reference allowing the origin of the emission reductions to be identified and, if necessary, sanctions to be applied, in particular the subsequent banning of access to the ET market. Therefore, although this system seems ideal in theory, it cannot be applied to small companies whose energy consumption is unknown and whose emission reductions cannot be checked. So, at the moment and for a long time to come no doubt, it would be impossible to apply this system to imprecise sectors like transport and human settlements.

Equal treatment

41It is also essential that States oblige their companies to make sufficient emission reductions. To protect the competitiveness of some sectors, a State might be tempted to impose lower levels of reductions. To avoid such distortions, arbitration is required – for example, in the case of the European Union, this is done by the Commission. This is why Member States have to send Brussels the National Allocation Plan (NAP) on the emission reductions they intend to impose upon their companies. They can only implement these plans after the final European arbitration.

42How should the level of emission reductions to impose be determined? This is undoubtedly one of the most delicate points. When the price of fossil fuels is high, it is in the interest of companies to increase energy efficiency which, when production remains the same, leads to a reduction in CO2 emissions. The same applies when economic activity slows down, as during the 2009 crisis. Finally, emission trading markets only play their role fully when economic activity increases, when the price of fossil energies falls and when the level of emission reductions imposed upon companies by States is high enough.

Allocation of emission credits

43Up until now, emission credits (for example, up to 90 % when the reduction imposed is 10 %) are given free of charge based on past emissions (grand-fathering). This makes access difficult for new entrants.

Placing emission reductions on the market resulting from carbon-storage changes in rural areas

44At the Marrakech agreement, it was decided that emission reductions resulting from changes to carbon-storage in vegetation and soils of annex-B countries could not be placed on the emissions trading market. When we consider how difficult it is to measure and check these storage changes precisely, this decision seems perfectly justified.

Placing emissions on the European Trading market (ET) resulting from projects under the Clean Development Mechanism in developing countries

  • 4 For France, 2.5 % of the 92 % of emissions in 1990.

45Emission reductions obtained via CDM projects in developing countries can be traded on the emission trading market but with a ceiling limit of 2.5 % of each country’s assigned amount units4. Indeed, there was a fear that CDM projects would reduce efforts to lower emissions in annex-B countries.

46In theory, temporary emission reductions resulting from forestry projects in developing countries could be placed on emission trading markets within a certain limit. The Bonn and Marrakech agreements are not opposed to this but the European Union does not wish to have this type of emission reductions on its market.

Actions to reduce emissions under the clean development mechanism (article 12)

47Initially, Brazil, representing the developing countries, asked for a clean development fund to be set up for virtuous action in favour of the climate in their countries. This would definitely have led to a great deal of expense for industrialised countries in annex B. Moreover, China hoped to take advantage of a mechanism to promote technology transfers. This is how a CDM was set up.

48Using this mechanism, a company in an annex-B country can make emission reductions in a non-annex-1 country which is compliant with its commitments under the Convention. As a rule, these emission reductions are made in another country because the company hopes to obtain them at a lower cost. But to acquire Emission Reduction Credits (ERC), one has to prove that these would not have been achieved without the project. Therefore, for large CDM projects, there are both environmental and economic restrictions. Yet, it is not always easy to prove the economic additionality. The governments of the countries concerned must also give their approval.

49At this stage, more than one thousand projects of this type have been approved, mainly for China, India, Brazil and South East Asia but very few for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is mainly due to the fact that projects have to be financed by the private sector (official development aid cannot be used); but direct foreign investment in Sub-Saharan Africa and in the LDCs is very low.

50In article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, nothing was mentioned about the possibility of reducing emissions via forestry projects in developing countries. Only projects involving the afforestation of agricultural land, carried out after 2000, finally became eligible. Even then it has to be proven that this afforestation does not lead to deforestation elsewhere in the same country. Only a few rare projects are in the process of being approved and the ERC allotted, in this case, are only temporary.

Actions to reduce emissions within the framework of a joint implementation between two annex-B countries that have undertaken to reduce their emissions (article 6)

51The principle is the same as that behind projects under the clean development mechanism. However, the emission reductions can only be counted between 2008 and 2012 and not from 2000, as with CDM projects. Yet, as the two countries concerned have emission reduction commitments here, which are monitored under the Protocol, the monitoring of emission reductions at project level does not have to be as strict as for CDM projects. Although article 6 very explicitly authorises the joint implementation of forestry projects, this remains very difficult in practice, especially because of the complexity of articles 3.3 and 3.4.


52In June 2009, we still do not know what modifications will be made to the Kyoto Protocol in December 2009 and afterwards, but discussions are now underway about the paths of development that various countries should follow between now and 2020 and then beyond, in order to stabilise the climate by 2050.

53When the Kyoto Protocol was set up, we still did not know that we would have to halve world emissions in less than fifty years to achieve this objective. This requires much more mobilization than has already been achieved, mainly in industrialised countries and in fast-growing developing countries, like China, India and Brazil or in OECD countries not listed in annex I, like South Korea and Mexico.

54Although gross emissions caused by deforestation in developing countries represents between 15 and 20 % of GHG emissions from fossil energies, the Small Island Developing States and the European Union were very opposed to taking them into account during the first commitment period under the Protocol. For the European Union, this position is understandable because before 2012 it was only the developed countries that had to make commitments to reduce their emissions. Yet, the European Union considered, even in 1997, that each country in annex B should reduce its own emissions, without even using Kyoto’s flexibility mechanisms. It is above all the emissions from fossil energies which are significant in these countries.

Taking forests into account after 2012

55However, in 2005, at the Montreal Conference, at the instigation of the new presidency of the Small Island Developing States, in particular Papua New Guinea, the situation changed radically. It was considered that deforestation in non-annex 1 countries should be greatly reduced, but nobody yet knew which mechanisms were needed to facilitate this or how much it would cost industrialised countries. It was difficult to imagine that a tonne of CO2 which was not produced, via deforestation, could be rewarded the same amount as the prevention or reduction of a tonne of CO2 from fossil fuel.

56This question was widely debated at the conferences in Nairobi in 2006, Bali in 2007 and Poznan in 2008. It will certainly be one of the most difficult points to solve at the Copenhagen Conference in December 2009.

57Would it be possible to give rewards for emissions that are prevented by preventing deforestation in developing countries via the CDM? Opinions differ on this subject and very few people know how difficult it is to measure carbon-stock changes in forests precisely. The absence of serious methods of checking the reduction of emissions could lead to “toxic” products being placed on the market. This is why some people believe it would be better to reduce emissions via actions financed through other channels – taxing revenue generated by the sale of CDM emission credits in 2012 or specific contributions from annex-1 countries.

58On the other hand, we believe that reforestation under the CDM could continue according to the current formula but these projects need to be better accepted on the emission trading markets, by the European Union in particular.

Emission Trading (ET) markets

59For the period after 2012, there will also be changes to emission trading markets, particularly in the European Union, which plans to stop giving away most emission credits and to sell them by auction. Any company which is large enough and which emits large quantities of CO2 could thus acquire credits.

60The European Union also considers that the world’s various emission trading markets will no doubt remain segmented and that it will not be possible, before 2020, to have a single emission trading market for countries in the OECD.

61During the Bali Conference and in the UNFCCC workshops, several countries mentioned the need to deal separately with very coal-intensive industrial and mining sectors, which is the case with the nickel sector. However, some companies, subjected to international competition and whose activities are at risk of being relocated, could be partially or even totally exempted from the obligation to buy such emission credits. Moreover, groups of industrialists are lobbying the European Commission to introduce this exemption. This shows how very important it is to study what happens on the emission trading market in 2012 in the European Union and throughout the world.

62Between now and 2012, everything will depend upon changes in the economic situation and the lessons drawn from the implementation of such a market in the United States or in North America. Because up until now the United States have not yet tested the ET market on a national scale although it imposed it upon the Europeans. Admittedly, there is a CO2 market, but as there was no obligation to reduce emissions, the value of the tonne of CO2 was symbolic – ten times cheaper than on the European market!

63There are also many proposals to use the income from the sale of emission credits. Some parties would like part of the revenue to be allocated to the implementation of pilot projects in the geological sequestration of CO2, particularly in developing countries like China, India and South Africa. Other parties would like it to be allocated to the prevention of deforestation in annex-I countries. Many other uses are also possible.


1 With special conditions for countries like Iceland which are described later.

2 Total GHG emissions = Population * [GNP per capita * fossil energy consumption per GNP unit * average GHG emission per unit of fossil product].

3 Total GHG emissions = Population * [GNP per capita * fossil energy consumption per GNP unit5 * average GHG émission per unit of fossil product + Per capita land-use * Territorial effectiveness of bioproductions * average GHG emission per unit of bioproduct].

4 For France, 2.5 % of the 92 % of emissions in 1990.

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