Paving the road to legitimacy for CDM institutions and procedures

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The Clean Development Mechanism operates on a multilevel and constantly evolving normative basis. It was established by Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol and has evolved in light of decisions adopted at further Conferences of the Parties and through the delegation of action to another level of regulation, i.e., the CDM Executive Board and its Panels and Working Groups. The uncertainty regarding the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, together with the unstable legal basis of the CDM and the “learning by doing” approach adopted in its implementation, have subjected the CDM to growing criticism. The author suggests that this criticism is an expression of broader concerns related to the effectiveness and the legitimacy of international environmental governance. This study considers the impact of recent developments during the last Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol on these broader concerns of legitimacy. It then reviews other financial institutions sharing common features with the CDM, in particular, the World Bank “family” institutions, including the Global Environmental Facility and the Inspection Panel.

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