Legal and Policy Challenges for the World Economy
New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series
Edited by Benjamin J. Richardson, Yves Le Bouthillier, Heather McLeod-Kilmurray and Stepan Wood
Chapter 11: Beautifying Africa for the Clean Development Mechanism: Legal and Institutional Issues Considered
Damilola S. Olawuyi* 1. INTRODUCTION The Kyoto Protocol is regarded as the most important global agreement of the late twentieth century, not only for setting greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limits for industrialized nations to achieve by 2012, but also for providing them with several flexible mechanisms through which they can achieve those targets. One such mechanism is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Contained in Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, the CDM aims to enable developed nations to attain their emission targets by investing in projects that reduce GHG emissions in developing countries. The CDM was designed to provide an incentive for governments and companies in industrialized countries to invest in GHG reduction projects in developing countries and be credited for GHG reductions achieved through these projects by means of the issuance of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). Thus, the CDM allows developed countries investing in such projects to achieve their emission reduction commitments with much flexibility and at much lower costs, as it promotes sustainable development in developing countries hosting such projects. It is proposed that the CDM can act as a basis for such nations to achieve progress in environmental issues such as cleaner air and water, reduced deforestation, soil conservation, and biodiversity protection; to realize social benefits such as rural development, employment and poverty alleviation; and to encourage private investment and public–private partnerships in economic development (UNEP, 2005, p. 3). The CDM market has grown substantially in recent years, increasing from a mere five projects in 2003...
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