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Co-benefits of CDM projects and policy implications
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
2010 (English)In: Environmental Economics, ISSN 1998-6041, Vol. 1, no 2, 78-88 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to study the co-benefits of clean development mechanism (CDM) projects, and further to discuss the policy of its implications. It has been found that many energy-related climate change mitigation (CCM) activities, including CDM projects, are able to produce a significant amount of co-benefits, while the policy implications have been limited. Through co-benefits assessment of Chinese CDM projects, it can be concluded that: (1) there are uncertainties relating to co-benefits assessment; (2) co-benefits assessment can be only applied to energy related projects (ERPs) and not to HFC23 decomposition projects; (3) hydropower and wind power projects are the largest contributors to cobenefits. Considering average capacity, projects concerning energy switch from coal to natural gas, coal mine methane recovery and biogas recovery are also important; and (4) the distribution of co-benefits in China are uneven. Through a discussion about policy implications of co-benefits, this paper suggest that co-benefits should neither be involved into current international CCM negotiation, nor used to ensure projects’ contribution to sustainable development. However, co-benefits analysis can indicate synergies or optimised trade-offs between CCM and protecting local environment, which is valuable for decision-making in developing countries, especially for local governments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 1, no 2, 78-88 p.
Keyword [en]
clean development mechanism, co-benefits, policy implications
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-31415OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-31415DiVA: diva2:403997
Note
QC 20110816Available from: 2011-08-16 Created: 2011-03-14 Last updated: 2012-04-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Understanding the Clean Development Mechanism and its dual aims: the case of China's projects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding the Clean Development Mechanism and its dual aims: the case of China's projects
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Having been running for over 10 years, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is considered an innovative and successful mitigation initiative. CDM has the dual aims of helping industrialised countries achieve compliance with their emission limitation and reduction commitments in a cost-effective way, while simultaneously assisting developing countries in sustainable development. This thesis does a comprehensive analysis of the dual aims of CDM and is intended to assist in discussions about the post-2012 regime regarding CDM.

To analyse the aim of assisting mitigation in a cost-effective way, the prices of certified emission reductions (CERs) on the international carbon market was studied and the provision of CDM was tested by comparing the amount of CERs with the mitigation commitments of the Annex I countries. It was found that CDM plays an important role in maintaining the international carbon price at a low level and that the total amount of CERs alone had already reached up to 52.70% of the entire mitigation commitments of industrialized countries by the end of 2010 and was continuing to grow before 2012.

A theoretical analysis of the impacts of CDM showed that CDM has a double mitigation effect in both developing countries and industrialised countries, without double counting at present. A quantitative evaluation of the effects of China’s CDM projects on China’s total emissions showed that the contribution of CDM projects to limiting total emissions is small due to the dominance of fossil fuels, but CDM’s role in stimulating renewable energy is significant, e.g. about 11% of hydropower and 93% of wind power was generated by CDM projects in 2010. The results provide strong evidence in support of CDM’s contribution under the current Kyoto Protocol mitigation regime.

To analyse the aim of promoting sustainable development in developing countries, popular methods such as checklist, Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) and Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) were reviewed, a CBA of co-benefits of China’s CDM projects was carried out, and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method was applied in an experimental study. The results showed that every method has its own advantages and problems. In other words, neither the CBA of co-benefits nor the AHP method alone is able to assess sustainable development in a completely satisfactory way. Currently, a bottom-up approach through engaging local stakeholders in CDM design and approval, combining a mandatory monitoring and evaluation of co-benefits, could be more effective for safeguarding local sustainable development than any consolidated standards.

The future of the CDM is still unclear mainly due to uncertainties about the post-2012 regime. This thesis shows that there is more than sufficient reason for CDM to continue after 2012. Industrialised countries in general should make more substantial efforts to reduce their domestic emissions rather than blaming developing countries. For developing countries, learning from the CDM projects and further applying the knowledge, technology and experiences to their domestic development agenda could be more valuable than the present CER revenues. CDM can be an important starting point for developing countries to gradually make incremental greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction and limitation efforts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2011. viii, 62 p.
Series
Trita-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2011: 28
Keyword
Clean development mechanism (CDM), Climate change mitigation, Kyoto Protocol, Sustainable Development, China’s mitigation strategy, Cost benefit analysis (CBA), co-benefits, Multi-criteria analysis (MCA), Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Research subject
SRA - Energy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-37462 (URN)978-91-7501-073-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-09-14, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26 Entreplan, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
StandUp
Note
QC 20110817Available from: 2011-08-17 Created: 2011-08-11 Last updated: 2011-08-17Bibliographically approved
2. Climate change mitigation in China
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate change mitigation in China
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

China has been experiencing great economic development and fast urbanisation since its reforms and opening-up policy in 1978. However, these changes are reliant on consumption of primary energy, especially coal, characterised by high pollution and low efficiency. China’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with carbon dioxide (CO2) being the most significant contributor, have also been increasing rapidly in the past three decades. Responding to both domestic challenges and international pressure regarding energy, climate change and environment, the Chinese government has made a point of addressing climate change since the early 2000s. This thesis provides a comprehensive analysis of China’s CO2 emissions and policy instruments for mitigating climate change.

In the analysis, China’s CO2 emissions in recent decades were reviewed and the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis examined. Using the mostly frequently studied macroeconomic factors and time-series data for the period of 1980-2008, the existence of an EKC relationship between CO2 per capita and GDP per capita was verified. However, China’s CO2 emissions will continue to grow over coming decades and the turning point in overall CO2 emissions will appear in 2078 according to a crude projection. More importantly, CO2 emissions will not spontaneously decrease if China continues to develop its economy without mitigating climate change. On the other hand, CO2 emissions could start to decrease if substantial efforts are made.

China’s present mitigation target, i.e. to reduce CO2 emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45% by 2020 compared with the 2005 level, was then evaluated. Three business-as-usual (BAU) scenarios were developed and compared with the level of emissions according to the mitigation target. The calculations indicated that decreasing the CO2 intensity of GDP by 40-45% by 2020 is a challenging but hopeful target.

To study the policy instruments for climate change mitigation in China, domestic measures and parts of international cooperation adopted by the Chinese government were reviewed and analysed. Domestic measures consist of administration, regulatory and economic instruments, while China’s participation in international agreements on mitigating climate change is mainly by supplying certified emission reductions (CERs) to industrialised countries under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The most well-known instruments, i.e. taxes and emissions trading, are both at a critical stage of discussion before final implementation. Given the necessity for hybrid policies, it is important to optimise the combination of different policy instruments used in a given situation.

The Durban Climate Change Conference in 2011 made a breakthrough decision that the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol would begin on 1 January 2013 and emissions limitation or reduction objectives for industrialised countries in the second period were quantified. China was also required to make more substantial commitments on limiting its emissions. The Chinese government announced at the Durban Conference that China will focus on the current mitigation target regarding CO2 intensity of GDP by 2020 and will conditionally accept a world-wide legal agreement on climate change thereafter. However, there will be no easy way ahead for China.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2012. ix, 49 p.
Series
Trita-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2012:01
Keyword
China, Climate change mitigation, Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC) hypothesis, Mitigation target, Business-as-usual (BAU) scenarios, Policy instruments
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-93109 (URN)978-91-628-8439-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-05-11, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26 Entreplan, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20120424

Available from: 2012-04-24 Created: 2012-04-11 Last updated: 2013-01-09Bibliographically approved

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