Global carbon mechanisms: Emerging lessons and implications

An overview of the different 'Global Carbon Mechanisms' that exist today, their role in the global response to climate change and how they have developed to date.

Publication date: March 2009
Information in this report was correct at the time of publication

Publication date: March 2009

The global carbon mechanisms have succeeded in channelling billions of Euros towards low-carbon investments in developing countries, but cannot deliver what is needed in the future without support including reforms and involvement of North America.

The publication shows that the Clean Development Mechanism itself has triggered more than 4000 emission-reducing projects in developing countries and is likely to save up to 2 billion tonnes of emissions reductions by 2012. Other Mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol, including emerging Green Investment Schemes, show great promise. But many of the gains are at peril, warns the publication, unless governments act to restore balance in the markets and learn the emerging lessons.

The publication identifies and analyses three fundamental problems that must be tackled.

  1. An excess of supply over demand will mean low prices in the market without government action.
  2. There must be reforms to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of the existing mechanisms.
  3. The Global Carbon Mechanisms are and will continue to be a central pillar in the global response to climate change to 2020, but are not on their own sufficient. They need to be complemented by other action to support the required cuts in carbon emissions.

Note that the publication does not directly discuss the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. That scheme has been discussed in other Carbon Trust publications.



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