Enhancing the role of the CDM in accelerating low-carbon technology transfers to developing countries

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The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in its present form concentrates on single projects, mostly in isolation of the host country’s national and technological context. CDM project patterns largely follow those of foreign direct investments, resulting in a relatively large share of rapidly industrialising developing countries in the CDM project pipeline. This paper suggests that the CDM position of developing countries presently underrepresented in the CDM pipeline could be improved in three ways. First, host countries must improve their domestic CDM structures and would benefit from a systematic selection of low-carbon energy technologies based on priority sectors and energy service needs. Second, host countries would need to map the markets for technology transfer and diffusion so that market system blockages can be identified and removed. Third, at the governance level of the CDM Executive Board, a greater role for programmatic CDM is recommended, as well as a more positive approach towards additionality and differentiation between CDM project types.

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