CDM and the zero-sum game

The realities of the international carbon markets have caught up with both developing and developed countries. Would Mother Earth be pleased, or not?

It seems that the reality of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has finally caught up with many Kyoto parties at COP17 last week in Durban. Concerns around the CDM are no longer just the isolated, extreme views of the likes of Bolivia, reflected so poetically in the draft long-term cooperative action (LCA) negotiating text released last Friday. Recognising the rights of Mother Earth to ensure harmony between humanity and nature, the proposed text demands that: "there will be no commodification of the functions of nature, therefore no carbon market will be developed for that purpose... no offsetting or market mechanisms shall be applied or developed." Period.

It is in this context of offsetting that many developing countries were heard, in their plenary and contact group interventions, questioning the role of mechanisms like the CDM in the post-2012 regime.


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