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Environmental Studies

CDM- How Clean is the Clean Development Mechanism?

The Beginning
The Kyoto Protocol

United States: 
economy vs. ecology

International Reaction to US

Where India Stands

Citizen Science in India

References & Links

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CDM- How Clean Is The Clean Development Mechanism?


            The developing countries; which consist mainly of India, China and Brazil have not had a very significant contribution to carbon emissions so far. If every person in the developing world had the same carbon footprint as the average person in Germany or the United Kingdom, current global emissions would be four times the limit defined by our sustainable emissions pathway, rising to nine times if the developing country per capita footprint were raised to Canadian or United States levels. 

        The agreement commits 37 industrialized nations to cut gas emissions  in a bid to stop Global Warming. But the Kyoto Protocol did not place any quantitative restrictions on emissions from developing countries, and if the next 15 years of emissions follows the linear trend of the past 15, dangerous climate change will be unavoidable.



            India finally signed and ratified the Protocol in August, 2002. According to the protocol, India is exempted from the framework of the treaty and it is expected to gain from the protocol in terms of transfer of technology and related foreign investments. At the G-8 meeting in June 2005, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh- the Indian Prime Minister, pointed out that the per-capita emission rates of the developing countries are a tiny fraction of those in the developed world.

             Following the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, India maintains that the major responsibility of curbing emission rests with the developed countries, which have accumulated emissions over a long period of time. However, the U.S. and other Western nations assert that India, along with China, will account for most of the emissions in the coming decades, owing to their rapid industrialization and economic growth.

            Under the Kyoto Protocol, India would benefit from additional transfers of technology, and foreign investments in renewable energy, energy generation and efficiency promotion and defforestation projects, through the Clean Development Mechanism. Therefore while short term benefits because of international funding will be well received, once developed countries such as India has reached their ‘developed’ mark,there will no longer be any reason for international governments or companies to invest in the country, and it will experience a landslide. Since Global Warming will, in most probability, still be a threat; and the Annex 1 countries have done nothing to cut back on their own emissions, there will be pressure on developing countires ( now developed) to cut back on their own emissions without any help. Moreover, as time proceeds, prices of change will only go up.

        So while the majority of the citizens are pleased with India’s participation in the CDM mechanism, few look at long term effects.






India looks forward to a brighter future.

Development and New Technologies in India.

Last updated:  2/2/2006


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