Co-benefits and additionality of the clean development mechanism: An empirical analysis
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) allows industrialized countries to comply with the Kyoto Protocol by using carbon offsets from developing countries. There are two puzzles within this carbon market: additionality (the proposed activity would not have occurred in its absence) and co-benefits (the project has other environmental benefits besides climate mitigation). This paper proposes an econometric approach to evaluate the CDM effect on sulfur dioxide emission reductions and assess its additionality indirectly. Our empirical model is applied to China's emissions at the prefecture level. We found that the CDM does not have a statistically significant effect in lowering sulfur dioxide emissions. This result casts doubt on additionality of these CDM activities, that is, they would have happened anyway. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
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