AbstractThe Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was established by Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol to promote sustainable development in developing countries and, at the same time, assist developed countries to achieve their emission reduction commitments in a cost-effective way. The CDM appears to have been successful in its delivering its cost-effective objective but it is debatable if it has been as successful in promoting sustainable development in developing countries. Previous research studies have shown that overall, the CDM is not contributing a great deal to sustainable development. This is because, inter alia, there is no system in place for the effective implementation and supervision of the CDM’s sustainable development objective, either at the international or national levels.
Proposed CDM projects are required to fulfil validation and registration (V & R) requirements as a prerequisite for their registration as CDM projects. The effective fulfilment, implementation and supervision of these should, presumably, contribute to the achievement of the CDM’s sustainable development objective in CDM host countries. This is because some of these requirements, such as stakeholder participation and environmental impact assessment are generally regarded in international law as key tools for promoting sustainable development.
The overall aim of this thesis is to consider the broad question of why the CDM is failing to achieve its sustainable development objective. To answer this question, this thesis focuses specifically on the fulfilment, implementation, and supervision of the V & R requirements for CDM projects, and their role in helping the CDM achieve this objective. None of the previous research studies examined the suitability of the V & R requirements and the fulfilment, implementation and supervision of the V & R requirements, to address the broad question of why the CDM is failing to achieve its sustainable development objective. Therefore, this thesis seeks to fill this gap by answering two main questions: to what extent are the V & R requirements suitable for promoting sustainable development?; how are the V & R requirements for CDM projects fulfilled, supervised and implemented in practice, and has the practical application of the V & R requirements helped or hindered the promotion of sustainable development?
To answer these two main questions, the thesis undertakes an assessment of the V & R requirements for CDM projects in order to determine if the requirements are well-suited to promote sustainable development in the CDM. To answer the second part of the main question, the research assesses selected registered and rejected projects. The projects were assessed in order to come to a conclusion on whether the V & R requirements for CDM projects are being fulfilled by project participants, and implemented and supervised by the CDM institutional bodies in a manner that can contribute to the sustainable development objective of the CDM.
The findings from the research show that the V & R requirements for CDM projects, as they are currently framed in the rules governing the CDM, are not suitable to promote sustainable development in CDM host countries and do not assist the CDM achieve its sustainable development objective. The research also shows that the V & R requirements are not being effectively fulfilled, implemented and supervised in a way that enhances the ability of the CDM to meet its sustainable development objective. This thesis concluded that this is as a direct result of the lack of minimum standards and guidelines for the fulfilment of the requirements, which also impacts on the way in which the requirements can be implemented and supervised by the CDM’s institutional bodies. Therefore, this thesis argues that effective fulfilment, implementation and supervision of the V & R requirements will contribute to sustainable development in CDM host countries. However, in order to achieve this, minimum standards and guidelines are required to guide the effective fulfilment, implementation and supervision of the V & R requirements.
|Date of Award
|Andrea Ross (Supervisor) & Robin Churchill (Supervisor)