The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Robert V. Percival, Jolene Lin and William Piermattei
Chapter 10: The Clean Development Mechanism and its sustainable development premise: the inadequacy of the Kyoto Protocol to guarantee climate justice
In the aftermath of a disappointing Rio+20 Conference and deadlock in international climate change negotiations, this chapter will analyse the Clean Development Mechanism’s (CDM) potential to promote sustainable development in poorer countries. The CDM, one of the Kyoto Protocol’s flexibility mechanisms, creates a risk of ‘carbon colonialism’ if not appropriately regulated. This chapter will advance recommendations for reform of the CDM that would further climate justice as well as reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These recommendations seek to present a concrete and realistic solution for future policy-making. Climate change is a reality and a major challenge that our societies need to face. The idea behind the creation of the Clean Development Mechanism [herein CDM or the mechanism] was to help the Kyoto Protocol’s Annex I countries comply with their reduction obligations, achieve the ultimate objectiveof the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and contribute to sustainable development in non-Annex I countries. In order to do so, Annex I countries and industries, in exchange for their investments in sustainable project activities within poorer countries, receive certified emission reduction units (CERs) for the overall tons of CO2 equivalent that are reduced or avoided from the project (1 CER = 1 ton CO2).
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