Does Geography Matter for the Clean Development Mechanism?

Under the Kyoto Protocol, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is designed to serve the dual purposes of allowing the industrialised countries to earn credits by investing in project activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while contributing to sustainable development in developing countries via the flows of technology and capital. The fact that the geographic distribution of CDM projects is highly uneven motivates this research into whether certain geographic endowments matter for the CDM development.

This research suggests that CDM credit flows in a country are positively affected by those in its neighbouring countries. Countries with higher absolute latitudes and elevations tend to initiate more CDM projects, whereas countries having richer natural resources do not seem to undertake more CDM projects. This finding sheds light on the geographic determinants of uneven CDM development across countries, and has implications for developing countries in terms of international cooperation and national capacity building to effectively access the CDM.

Huang, Y., and T. Barker

Research areas