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Carbon Leakage from the Clean Development Mechanism

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  • Knut Einar Rosendahl
  • Jon Strand

Abstract

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is an offset mechanism designed to reduce the overall cost of implementing a given target for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in industrialized Annex B countries of the Kyoto Protocol, by shifting some of the emission reductions to Non-Annex B countries. This paper analyzes how CDM projects may lead to leakage of emissions elsewhere in Non-Annex B countries. Leakage occurs because emissions reductions under a CDM project may affect market equilibrium in regional and/or global energy and product markets, and thereby increase emissions elsewhere. We also account for potential reverse or negative leakage effects in Non-Annex B from higher emissions cap in Annex B. Our conclusion is that net leakage typically is positive and sizeable, thus leading to an overall increase in global GHG emissions when CDM projects are undertaken. Leakage is greater when the different fossil fuel markets are more segregated.

Suggested Citation

  • Knut Einar Rosendahl & Jon Strand, 2011. "Carbon Leakage from the Clean Development Mechanism," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 27-50.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:32-4-a02
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    Cited by:

    1. Bofinger, Heinrich & Strand, Jon, 2013. "Calculating the carbon footprint from different classes of air travel," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6471, The World Bank.
    2. Delacote, Philippe & Robinson, Elizabeth J.Z. & Roussel, Sébastien, 2016. "Deforestation, leakage and avoided deforestation policies: A spatial analysis," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 192-210.
    3. Knut Rosendahl & Jon Strand, 2015. "Emissions Trading with Offset Markets and Free Quota Allocations," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 61(2), pages 243-271, June.
    4. Snorre Kverndokk, 2013. "Moral positions on tradable permit markets," Chapters,in: Handbook on Energy and Climate Change, chapter 22, pages 490-499 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Nicholas Z. Muller, 2014. "Air Pollution Damages from Offshore Energy Production," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4).
    6. Anne Berner, 2015. "Kurz zum Klima: CDM - wohin geht das Geschäft mit dem Klima?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(01), pages 64-66, January.
    7. Trotter, Ian Michael & da Cunha, Dênis Antônio & Féres, José Gustavo, 2015. "The relationships between CDM project characteristics and CER market prices," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 158-167.
    8. Strand, Jon, 2013. "Strategic climate policy with offsets and incomplete abatement: Carbon taxes versus cap-and-trade," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 202-218.
    9. Strand, Jon, 2016. "Mitigation incentives with climate finance and treaty options," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 166-174.
    10. Strand, Jon & Rosendahl, Knut Einar, 2012. "Global emissions effects of CDM projects with relative baselines," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 533-548.
    11. Benjamin Jones & Michael Keen & Jon Strand, 2013. "Fiscal implications of climate change," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(1), pages 29-70, February.
    12. Greaker, Mads & Stoknes, Per Espen & Alfsen, Knut H. & Ericson, Torgeir, 2013. "A Kantian approach to sustainable development indicators for climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 10-18.

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    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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