The Kyoto Protocol established three flexible mechanisms to help industrialized nations meet their emission reduction targets: International Emissions Trading (IET, i.e., “the carbon market”), the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI). Both CDM and JI are project-based mechanisms in which individual projects are financed with the goal of reducing GHG emissions. These mechanisms then feed the carbon market – the key tool through which global emissions are reduced.
While both project-based mechanisms were developed to help countries reach their emissions reduction targets, there has been debate about the effectiveness of these projects: both in terms of achieving development and effectively lowering emissions. Furthermore, there is uncertainty over the role of credits and current or planned projects if a gap period were to evolve following the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.
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