The clean development mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol is designed not only to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) but also to contribute locally to sustainable development. As a market-based mechanism, CDM has the potential to channel private investments into development activities with economic, social, and environmental benefits. Unfortunately, investments have tended to flow where CDM activities provide higher returns with limited economic and political risks, that is, outside of least developed countries (LDCs). To date, only a handful of LDCs have been able to participate in the CDM. This article discusses opportunities for modifying the CDM rules to provide more opportunities for LDCs. Regulatory reforms, technical assistance programs, and direct registration and certification of CDM activities in LDCs by the UNFCCC Secretariat may help foster CDM activities in LDCs . As negotiations regarding the post-2012 climate regime are afoot, an overhaul of the CDM toward a mechanism more friendly to LDCs is necessary.
- Climate and energy systems
- Sustainable development and climate