Understanding the Clean Development Mechanism and its dual aims: the case of China's projects
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.
Trita-IM, ISSN 1402-7615 ; 2011: 28
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)
Other Environmental Engineering
Research subject SRA - Energy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-37462ISBN: 978-91-7501-073-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-37462DiVA: diva2:433937
2011-09-14, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26 Entreplan, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Enell, Magnus, Dr.
Wennersten, Ronald, ProfessorBrandt, Nils, Associate Professor
QC 201108172011-08-172011-08-112011-08-17Bibliographically approved
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