The Need for a Rights-Based Approach to the Clean Development Mechanism

Publication: ResearchWorking paper – Annual report year: 2014

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The adoption of a range of resolutions by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) signals the introduction of a human rights-based approach into the lexicon of climate change negotiation and resulting initiatives. This development has been subsequently reinforced by the Conference of Parties Decision 1/CP.16 which calls upon parties that are implementing programmes under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to fully respect human rights in all climate related actions. Despite this recognition, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) developed under the climate change instruments to deliver sustainable projects in developing states has not adopted measures to implement these obligations. Its prospects remain questionable in terms of compatibility with key principles of a rights-based approach, namely, universality and inalienability, equity and non-discrimination, participation and access to grievance and redress mechanism.
This paper explores what a rights-based approach entails in the context of the current CDM approach and rules. Using a case study approach as an illustration, notably the Sasan coal power plant in India, the paper highlights the need for CDM to embrace a rights- based focus in its operation. This is followed with conclusion and recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2015
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