To many, the CDM (Clean Development Mechanism, the Kyoto Protocol’s main instrument) is frustrating because it suffers from UN bureaucracy problems. This seems to me far from correct. Although shaping CDM rules in technological parameters would avoid difficult (and expensive) questions about additionality and so on, this is of little help because technological parameters inhibit negotiating efforts and benefits. Technology is also the product of social relations, never vice versa.
Thus CDM rules are ineffective on the natural science and engineering sides, but on the other hand allow a normative ambition – representation of the global public good in negotiations. James K. Sebenius has explained 15 years ago what a winning climate coalition takes. The global public good ‘Certified Emission Reduction’ (1 CER = 1 ton CO2e) exists mainly in three colours, Chinese, Indian and Brazilian, and while the colours mix on occasion this is not easily evident. My analysis of these differences suggests that the distinctions of these colours remain. The global public good ‘CER’ will continue to expand in each colour as fits its political and cultural foundations.
Brazil - India - China institutional context
These differences help to design capacity building instruments effective in the CDM context in each country.
The UNFCCC is the source of normative value for the carbon markets but has little geo-political capacity. The relation between the UNFCCC and the G20 is not known and could evolve into one between a slowly evolving rulebook that creates more and more commons and a global bargaining for their distribution. However, the bargaining requires constantly re-writing of the rulebook and could thus turn it into a labyrinth. External sovereignty of governments could originate from both sides of that relation (Reinicke).
Sebenius, James K. 1995, "Towards a Winning Climate Coalition." In Negotiating Climate Change: The Inside Story of the Rio
Convention, edited by Irving Mintzer, p.277-320, Cambridge UP.
Reinicke, W. 1998, Global Public Policy: Governing Without Government?, Washington DC: Brookings.