The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is expected to result in only a small role for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), including afforestation and reforestation projects. Wide ranging concerns regarding sinks in the CDM have been reflected in the Marrakech Accords capping the total amount of emission offsets from sinks projects to be used by Annex I countries. Decisions about the second commitment period and beyond are likely to be of far greater importance for these projects. This paper contributes to the discussion on how caps on sinks under the CDM could be used to obtain overall improved outcomes for developing countries. We examine two distinctive ways in which quantitative caps on sinks in the CDM can be implemented: one, restricting the use of sinks CERs to meet targets, as under the Marrakech Accords (a cap on demand); and two, restricting supply of sink CERs using a quota system. We argue in favour of a supply side cap, if Parties are to preserve the idea of limiting sinks in the CDM. Limiting the supply of credits could lead to better financial outcomes for developing countries as a whole, make higher-cost projects viable which may have better sustainability impacts, and provide an alternative to deal with equity concerns between developing countries.
|Publication status||Published - 2002|