The evolving role of carbon finance in promoting renewable energy development in China
The world is negotiating what the international climate change regime will look like after 2012--the year that current Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets expire--and the future of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is under discussion. Critics claim the scale of reductions that the CDM is driving in the developing world is insufficient from a scientific perspective if we are to avoid dangerous climate change, that the project-by-project crediting process is inefficient, and that the reductions being achieved are not "additional"--meaning they would have happened anyway and thus should not be financially supported. Yet, the efficacy of CDM must be examined in the broader context of carbon mitigation in the developing world and the actions that are taking place. This paper examines the role that the CDM has played in promoting renewable energy development in China in order to assess how international carbon finance can best be used to help promote emissions mitigation in the developing world. It also assesses how several options under consideration for reforming the current structure of the CDM in particular and developing country engagement in general may impact renewable energy development in China in the coming years.