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The Twin Failures of the CDM: Recommendations for the "Copenhagen Protocol"


  • Kneteman Christie

    (University of Toronto)

  • Green Andrew

    (University of Toronto)


The Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while facilitating sustainable development in developing countries. However, most CDM projects contribute little to sustainable development and are inequitably distributed. The 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will take place in Copenhagen in December 2009, is an opportunity to create a more effective version of the CDM. This paper argues that the CDM should be modified to include formal sustainable development requirements and to extend eligibility to additional land use, land-use change and forestry projects. In particular, the CDM should include credit for deforestation prevention, provide more scope for afforestation and reforestation projects, and encourage further study of agricultural soil carbon sequestration.

Suggested Citation

  • Kneteman Christie & Green Andrew, 2009. "The Twin Failures of the CDM: Recommendations for the "Copenhagen Protocol"," The Law and Development Review, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 225-256, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:lawdev:v:2:y:2009:i:1:n:9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fearnside, Philip M., 2001. "Saving tropical forests as a global warming countermeasure: an issue that divides the environmental movement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 167-184, November.
    2. Bryan, Elizabeth & Akpalu, Wisdom & Yesuf, Mahmud & Ringler, Claudia, 2008. "Global carbon markets: Are there opportunities for Sub-Saharan Africa?," IFPRI discussion papers 832, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Coomes, Oliver T. & Grimard, Franque & Potvin, Catherin & Sima, Philip, 2008. "The fate of the tropical forest: Carbon or cattle?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 207-212, April.
    4. Olsen, Karen Holm & Fenhann, Jørgen, 2008. "Sustainable development benefits of clean development mechanism projects: A new methodology for sustainability assessment based on text analysis of the project design documents submitted for validatio," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 2773-2784, August.
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