Measuring the Clean Development Mechanism's Performance and Potential

45 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2008 Last revised: 26 Apr 2014

Date Written: January 20, 2008


The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol is the first global attempt to address a global environmental public goods problem with a market-based mechanism. The CDM is a carbon credit market where sellers, located exclusively in developing countries, can generate and certify emissions reductions that can be sold to buyers located in developed countries. Since 2004 it has grown rapidly and is now a critical component of developed-country govern- ment and private-firm compliance strategies for the Kyoto Protocol. This Article presents an overview of the development and current shape of the market, then examines two important classes of emission reduction projects within the CDM and argues that they both point to the need for reform of the international climate regime in the post-Kyoto era, albeit in different ways. Potential options for reforming the CDM and an alternative mechanism for financing emissions reductions in developing countries are then presented and discussed.

Keywords: Climate Change, Global Warming, market mechanism, clean development mechanism, environmental law

Suggested Citation

Wara, Michael W., Measuring the Clean Development Mechanism's Performance and Potential (January 20, 2008). UCLA Law Review, Vol. 55, No. 6, p. 1759, 2008, Available at SSRN:

Michael W. Wara (Contact Author)

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

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