North-South Relations under the Clean Development Mechanism: Bridging the Divide or Widening the Gap?
Evans, Beth Jean
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The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol has been hailed as the grand compromise of the North-South divide over climate change mitigation for its ability to reconcile the economic demands of the North with the developmental needs of the South. Having been primarily analyzed from isolated economic, environmental, or developmental perspectives, the CDM’s efficacy in bridging the North-South divide remains poorly understood. This research evaluates the CDM against three qualitative criteria focused on issues affecting Southern nations’ participation in international agreements. An examination of distributive and procedural issues characterizing the CDM shows that significant trade-offs exist between Northern and Southern interests under the CDM and suggests that the interests of the South are often sacrificed. On this basis, conclusions are drawn which point to the need for increased attention to and accommodation of Southern interests in the CDM specifically, and global climate change efforts more broadly.