Legal Aspects of Implementing the Kyoto Protocol Mechanisms: Making Kyoto Work
The first protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in Kyoto in 1997 and entered into force in February 2005. It is a unique international law instrument which sets legally binding targets for the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. The targets are unprecedented in an environmental agreement and will involve substantial financial commitment in virtually all industrialized country parties to the protocol. The Kyoto Protocol is also the first international agreement to include economic instruments which are designed to involve private sector entities and assist parties to meet their targets. These economic instruments, known as the Kyoto or flexible mechanisms, are Joint Implementation (JI), the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and International Emissions Trading.
The Kyoto Protocol defined these mechanisms but did not set out the details necessary for their operation. After protracted negotiations, detailed rules were finalized at the Seventh Session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties held in Marrakech in 2001. The Marrakech Accords run to almost 250 pages but still leave many important practical issues unaddressed. As the 2008-2012 commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol draws close more and more projects under CDM and JI are being developed to take advantage of the Kyoto mechanisms and the key issues and problems are now becoming more apparent.Drawing on the emerging body of expertise in this complex area, this book conveys a knowledge of what is becoming known as 'Carbon Finance'. It thereby aims to contribute to the development of the market for carbon emission reductions - one of the objectives of the Kyoto mechanisms.
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