Responses in India towards the Clean Development Mechanism

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Virginia Tech


Recognizing the grave danger that climate change poses to mankind, the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 by 150 nations. Subsequent climate change negotiations were to be guided through the principles of "equity," "common but differentiated responsibilities" and respective "capabilities," while developed countries were to take lead in combating climate change. The Kyoto Protocol amended the FCCC in 1997 and set legally binding emission reduction targets for industrialized countries. No such commitments were mandated for the developing countries. The Kyoto Protocol, however, created the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which required participation of developing countries as hosts for CDM projects. Though it faced significant opposition at the onset it was adopted by many developing countries later. This paper outlines the responses towards the CDM in India.

Many developed countries, such as the United States, have sought to include participation of developing countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions mainly through binding growth caps on future emissions. Since 1997, this call for "meaningful participation" has stalled the US ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. In response some scholars have tried to link initiatives like CDM to "meaningful participation." This paper suggests that rather than relying on the CDM, this contention regarding commitments can be resolved on a long-term basis if only there is a fair and explicit allocation of GHG emission quotas incorporating "equity" concerns. Meaningful participation, which might mean quantified commitments, does not take into consideration "equity," a key criteria for developing country participation. Full participation can only result when Southern demands are given equal importance.



Equity, Clean Development Mechanism, Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change, India