The Clean Development Mechanism: A Review of the First International Offset Program
The Clean Development Mechanism: A Review of the First International Offset Program / Michael Gillenwater and Stephen Seres. Arlington : Pew Center on Global Climate Change, March 2011, 56 p.
This paper compares and evaluates the CDM against standard criteria for high-quality offsets and reviews lessons learned, institutional changes that have been made, and ongoing challenges.
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), established under the Kyoto Protocol, is the primary international offset program in existence today, and while not perfect, it has helped to establish a global market for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. It generates offsets through investments in GHG reduction, avoidance, and sequestration projects in developing countries. The United States is not party to the Kyoto Protocol, but was instrumental in negotiating the treaty and championing market mechanisms as a way to achieve the targeted reductions at lower cost. The CDM has managed to establish—in its relatively short eight years of existence—a credible, internationally-recognized, $2.7 billion carbon offset market with participation from a large number of developing countries and private investors. It has also created processes and methodologies that other programs are already emulating. (© Pew Center)