While the large number of projects and the achieved emission reductions testify both to the potential and the broad acceptance of the Kyoto mechanisms, the weaknesses identified highlight the need for reform. The major points of criticism include the poor geographic distribution of CDM activities, subjectivity in assessing additionality at project level and the realisation that the use of individual projects has not resulted in a sectoral transformation.
To expand use of the mechanisms, and especially the CDM, to sectors and regions which have to date not been included, two types of reform are of particular relevance: the programmatic approach and the introduction of standards to define the baseline and prove additionality.
In adopting these approaches, it is now possible to bundle a large number of smaller-scale projects into one Programme of Activities (PoA) and to set what are known as standardized baselines (SBs) to determine the emission reductions achieved – not for individual projects but for an entire industry sector.
Both of these approaches can significantly reduce the administrative effort involved in each project and secure the environmental integrity of the CDM. They can pave the way for the design of new climate change mitigation mechanisms under the Paris Agreement, which are currently being negotiated by the UN.
CDM projects need to determine a reference scenario against which emission reductions are calculated and they must demonstrate that the activity would not have occurred without the CDM. Standardized baselines allow a reference scenario to be established at the sectoral level together with a list of technologies that are automatically additional. more