A review of the CDM literature: from fine-tuning to critical scrutiny?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


As negotiations on the post-2012 climate regime are now taking off, it is time to look back and assess the experiences of the clean development mechanism (CDM) to this date. The CDM has been subject to extensive discussion in academic literature during the last few years, and this article reviews that literature in order to sum up its main themes. A common assessment is that the current structure of the CDM leads to a focus on cheap
emissions reductions at the expense of sustainable development benefits for the host countries. Recently, the questionable additionality of many CDM projects has become a central issue. The article further argues that whereas a substantial body of work exists on the CDM, this work is mainly preoccupied with a ‘fine-tuning’ of the mechanism. As the CDM now becomes increasingly institutionalized, scholars should also take a step back and study the CDM in a more theoretically oriented way.


  • Emma Lund
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science


  • Kyoto ProtocolClean development mechanismReviewAdditionalityCost effectivenessSustainable developmentPost-2012
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-80
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch