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Carbon emission right as a new property right: rescue CDM developers in China from 2012


  • Qing Pei


  • Lanlan Liu
  • David Zhang


Clean development mechanism (CDM) is encountering many uncertainties due to the coming end of the commitment period and critically suggested reformation. As the largest participant in the CDM market, China shoulders the biggest proportion of market risk. Among the studies on CDM in China, few have focused upon the legal aspect of CDM, which is crucial in defending developers’ interests. To fill this research gap in making the transition from policy to law, this paper claims that carbon emission right, which is the basis of trade, should be attributed as a property right in Property Law of People’s Republic of China. The present study will discuss the characteristics of carbon emission, definition, and legal attribution of carbon emission right. The valid object of carbon emission right in the CDM market under Property Law should be certified emissions reductions (CERs). The usufructuary right could be specifically applied in practice to the owners’ property right on CERs in China. Although experience from the CDM is not fully applicable to the development of cap and trading, the success of CDM market provides a reasonable platform to study emission right in the view of legal science. Furthermore, the proposed research acts as the pioneer study that lay the theoretical foundations in legal science on emission right trading for other potential schemes, which in turn addresses international environmental issues. Copyright The Author(s) 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Qing Pei & Lanlan Liu & David Zhang, 2013. "Carbon emission right as a new property right: rescue CDM developers in China from 2012," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 307-320, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ieaple:v:13:y:2013:i:3:p:307-320 DOI: 10.1007/s10784-012-9191-0

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cong, Ren & Lo, Alex Y., 2017. "Emission trading and carbon market performance in Shenzhen, China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 193(C), pages 414-425.


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