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Closing the Legitimacy Gap in Global Environmental Governance? Lessons from the Emerging CDM Market

  • Eva Lövbrand

    (Eva Lövbrand is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research at Linköping University in Sweden. Her research interests revolve around the role of science and expertise in global environmental politics and the marketization of climate governance. Her work has been published in journals such as Review of International Studies, Global Environmental Politics, Environmental Science and Policy, and Climatic Change.)

  • Teresia Rindefjäll

    (Teresia Rindefjäll holds a Ph.D. from Lund University in Sweden. Her research focuses on processes of political development, particularly in the fields of rights-based development and sustainable development, with an empirical focus on Latin America. She defended her dissertation, Democracy Beyond the Ballot Box: Citizen Participation and Social Rights in Post-Transition Chile in 2005.)

  • Joakim Nordqvist

    (Joakim Nordqvist holds a Ph.D. from Environmental and Energy Systems Studies at Lund University in Sweden. Through studies of construction and function of policy efforts to manage technology development, diffusion or deployment, his research addresses societal and actor-based responses to energy and climate related challenges. His work has been published in reports and proceedings, and in journals such as Energy Policy and Greener Management International.)

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    The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a prominent example of the contemporary turn towards more hybrid modes of global environmental governance. It epitomizes the trend away from hierarchical state regulation towards softer forms of steering along the public-private frontier. In this article we analyze the legitimacy of this novel governance arrangement. While we approach input legitimacy as a procedural ideal that guarantees actors affected by a CDM project voice in the project design and implementation, we relate output legitimacy to the effectiveness or problem solving capacity of the CDM institutions. In contrast to the mainstream understanding of the CDM as a policy mechanism that will secure both goals at the same time and thus reduce the legitimacy gap in global environmental governance, our study points to central trade-offs between the procedural quality and the effectiveness of the CDM project cycle. These trade-offs are illustrated by three carbon projects in Chile, China and Mexico and raise questions for the continued study of legitimacy in global environmental governance. (c) 2009 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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    Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Global Environmental Politics.

    Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (May)
    Pages: 74-100

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    Handle: RePEc:tpr:glenvp:v:9:y:2009:i:2:p:74-100
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