The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a union of waste picker organizations representing more than 460,000 workers across 34 countries
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September 10th 2012

Dear friends,

I would like to share the latest results of the campaign against the CDM carbon credits to incinerators and landfills and for the recognition of grassroots recyclers. As you recall, the rules governing these credits have been under revision for the past year and a half, and the final version was finally discussed and approved in July 2012 by the CDM.

In the context of the latter being revised in July 2012, GAIA mobilized a call to the European Commission and the CDM to stop carbon credits to incinerators and landfills. The letter was signed by 10 Members from the European Parliament from various political parties and civil society organizations from 23 countries. See full list of adhesions here.

Also, the same week of July, GAIA organized a cyber-action for members of the Board of the CDM received the letter in his personal mailbox (see the letter). At least each of the members of the Board received over 300 emails with the request to stop carbon credits to incinerators and landfills.

Thanks to these efforts and the entire campaign conducted by GAIA and Global Alliance of Waste Pickers, the new methodology adopted in July 2012 includes a fundamental principle that is a victory for our networks: it explicitly prohibits the approval of any CDM project what poses a negative impact on the recycling rates, and it also requires project proponents to demonstrate that this is not the case.

Our next steps are directed to ensure that this condition is respected and enforced. For now, the rule is strong, but it is unclear how it will be put into practice. Somehow it is worrying that the CDM has not formalized how CDM project proponents must demonstrate that their incinerators, for example, do not affect recycling rates.

In the week of the meeting of the Board of the CDM in July 2012, GAIA was present in Bonn and directly challenged the CDM on this issue. The CDM Secretariat suggested developing a protocol to be included in the methodology. This could be a good closing step to our campaign to ensure that even though the CDM is on the verge of collapse (see today’s Guardian), their rules remain very clear and respectful to grassroots recyclers.

This and other related activities are some of the GAIA proposals to continue the campaign to the CDM this next fall.

To all, congratulations and thanks for the shared efforts! Please share any comments, questions and suggestions!