The Paris Agreement is an international treaty that was adopted by 195 countries in December 2015. Its objective is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement also aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.
One of the key mechanisms of the Paris Agreement is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The CDM is a market-based approach that allows developed countries to invest in emission reduction projects in developing countries and earn carbon credits, which can be used to meet their own emission reduction targets. The CDM is an important tool for technology transfer and sustainable development in developing countries, while also contributing to the overall objective of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
The CDM was established under the Kyoto Protocol, the predecessor to the Paris Agreement. The Kyoto Protocol required developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5.2% below their 1990 levels by 2012. The CDM was designed to help developed countries meet their emission reduction targets in a cost-effective manner, while also promoting sustainable development in developing countries.
Under the CDM, emission reduction projects are evaluated and approved by an independent regulatory body, the CDM Executive Board. Once a project is approved, it can generate Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) that can be sold on the international carbon market. CERs represent one tonne of CO2 equivalent that has been avoided or reduced through the project.
The CDM has been successful in promoting emission reduction projects in developing countries. As of 2019, over 8,000 CDM projects had been registered in more than 100 developing countries, resulting in the issuance of over 2.3 billion CERs. These projects have contributed to emission reductions in sectors such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, and forestry.
However, the future of the CDM is uncertain under the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement introduced a new mechanism, the Sustainable Development Mechanism (SDM), that is intended to replace the CDM. The SDM is still under development, and its design and governance are being negotiated by the parties to the Paris Agreement.
In conclusion, the CDM has been an important mechanism for promoting emission reduction projects in developing countries and facilitating the transfer of technology and finance from developed to developing countries. While the future of the CDM is uncertain, the SDM is expected to build on its successes and contribute to the overall objective of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.