Limited versus Unlimited Flexibility
New Horizons in Environmental Economics series
Edited by Johan Albrecht
Chapter 9: The clean development mechanism: potential, promise and limitations
9. The clean development mechanism: potential, promise and limitations Jyoti P. Painuly INTRODUCTION The Kyoto Protocol has been extensively analysed by various experts, but mostly for its impact on developed countries. Of the three mechanisms proposed by the Protocol to provide ﬂexibility and reduce costs in meeting the Annex B1 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets, only the clean development mechanism (CDM) is of common interest to both Annex B and non-Annex B countries. The other two, that is emissions trading (ET) and joint implementation (JI) allow only Annex B participation, although these may also affect non-Annex B countries through their impact on price and supply of GHG credits. The non-Annex B countries’ approach to the CDM has been one of caution, and there is a perceptible lack of initiative from the countries that have major potential for the CDM. The full implications of the CDM are yet not clear and the issues raised by developing countries in various forums include the need for clarity and simplicity in deﬁnition of additionality, project eligibility and sustainable development criteria, geographic distribution of the CDM projects, supplementarity, capacity building and so on. The Kyoto Protocol completed three years of its existence in December 2000. It is yet to be ratiﬁed, putting a question mark over the determination of the international community to take concrete action on the issue of climate change. One of the major stumbling blocks in this has been the reluctance of the USA to ratify the Protocol and call...
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