Understanding the dominance of unilateral CDM projects in China: origins and implications for governing carbon markets

TitleUnderstanding the dominance of unilateral CDM projects in China: origins and implications for governing carbon markets
Publication TypeOther Working Paper
AuthorsShen, Wei
Secondary TitleThe Governance of Clean Development Working Paper Series No. 16
Year of Publication2011
Abstract

This paper analyzes the development of unilateral Clean Development Mechanism projects (uCDMs) as the dominant project pattern in China’s CDM market. It intends to reveal the political and economic reasons of such dominance and argues that the uCDMs pattern is particularly favoured by powerful actor groups, mainly business actors, involved in the CDM project circle. The corporate or business strategy, interests and day-to-day practices hence become an important governance element to develop and maintain the dominance of unilaterally financed CDM in the market. The flourishing of uCDMs is an important deviation of the initial assumption of CDM, which is generally believed to be a mechanism of joint implementation of projects between developing and developed nations and companies. These observations in China, the world leading CDM
market today, also have notable implications on how carbon markets are governed ‘from below’.

KeywordsAdditionality, China, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), foreign direct investment, governance, political economy, sustainable development, unilateral
Tyndall Consortium Institution

UEA

Research Programme

Development

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