آیا برچسب استاندارد طلا وعده خود را در ارائه مزایای توسعه پایدار بالاتر نگه می دارد ؟ مقایسه چند معیاره پروژه های CDM
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29402||2011||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11185 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Policy, Volume 39, Issue 3, March 2011, Pages 1213–1227
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has a twin objective: to help developed countries reduce GHG emissions, and to support developing countries in achieving Sustainable Development (SD). As a response to the widespread criticism of the CDM's unsatisfactory SD record, initiatives have developed premium labels like the Gold Standard, which applies two additional ‘screens’ to filter CDM projects for higher SD benefits. In order to determine whether Gold Standard projects can be associated with higher local SD benefits, this paper evaluates the potential benefits of 48 CDM projects using a multi-criteria method and building on existing work. The 18 evaluated Gold Standard projects are compared to a ‘representative portfolio’ of 30 unlabeled CDM projects in order to capture the ‘full’ effect of the additional Gold Standard requirements, which is further decomposed into the two ‘screen’ effects. The results suggest that Gold Standard Certified Emission Reductions can be associated with higher potential local SD benefits when compared to the ‘representative portfolio’ of unlabeled CDM projects, while the comparison of projects of the same type remains inconclusive. The results support previous findings showing that renewable energy projects may deliver comparatively high SD benefits.
The Clean Development Mechanism's origins lie in the broader debates surrounding the two concepts of Sustainable Development (SD) and climate change (Olsen, 2007). The mechanism itself was invented during the negotiations over the Kyoto Protocol, which set binding greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for industrialized countries (UNFCCC, 1997). In order to help developed countries in meeting their targets in a cost-effective manner, flexible market mechanisms were created—among them the CDM, a project-based global carbon-offset scheme.1 As a result of the intricate negotiations, the CDM intends to fulfill a twin objective: (1) to provide low-cost emission reduction opportunities for developed countries and (2) to assist developing countries in achieving Sustainable Development (UNFCCC, 1997). An extensive body of literature (see Olsen, 2007 for a review) argues that the CDM particularly falls short of achieving its SD goals. This SD-critique forms the starting point of this study. Building on the work of Nussbaumer (2009), I focus on the Gold Standard, a premium label for CDM projects, and follow a systematic approach in analyzing whether the Gold Standard holds its promise in delivering higher potential local SD benefits, using a multi-criteria assessment method.2 The Gold Standard builds on the CDM structure and applies three additional ‘screens’ that projects have to pass through in order to qualify for the label, two of which filter projects for a higher contribution to SD. The ‘project type screen’ limits the project types eligible to renewable energy- and end-use energy efficiency projects and the ‘Sustainable Development screen’ applies three further instruments to identify projects that foster higher local SD benefits (Gold Standard, 2003). Nussbaumer (2009) studied the contribution of labeled Certified Emission Reductions (CER) to local SD, using six Gold Standard projects and comparing them to unlabeled CDM projects of the same methodology. With this ‘within-project-type’ comparison he captures only what I will call the ‘Sustainable Development screen’ effect. In order to assess the ‘full’ potential SD contribution of Gold Standard-relative to unlabeled CDM projects, I will compare an increased sample size of 18 Gold Standard projects to a ‘representative portfolio’ of 30 unlabeled CDM projects.3 This ‘full’ Gold Standard effect is further decomposed into (1) the ‘project type screen’ effect and (2) the ‘Sustainable Development screen’ effects. This is done (1) by comparing Gold Standard projects with unlabeled CDM projects, whose project types would not be eligible for the Gold Standard and (2) by comparing Gold Standard projects with unlabeled projects of the same project type.4 The potential SD contribution of the different projects is assessed according to a set of 12 SD criteria on the basis of the individual Project Design Documents (PDD). Because of various limitations, this study cannot claim to assess the SD-contribution of a project as such, but rather tries to provide a coherent framework for partially capturing the relative potential contribution of CDM projects to local SD in order to facilitate a transparent comparison between Gold Standard and unlabeled CDM projects. The paper adds to the literature not only by extending the number of projects assessed by Nussbaumer (2009), but also by utilizing the innovative approach to assess the ‘full’ effect of the Gold Standard label on the potential contribution to SD, relative to a ‘representative portfolio’ of unlabeled CDM projects, and by decomposing this ‘full’ effect into the two ‘screen’ effects. Section 2 will provide some background on the CDM, discuss Sustainable Development in this context and introduce the Gold Standard. Section 3 elaborates on the research question, the methodology and the selection of projects. Section 4 presents and discusses the results, while section 5 concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The Clean Development Mechanism’s unsatisfactory Sustainable Development record, as documented in the literature (e.g. Olsen, 2007), formed the starting point of this study. Building in particular on Nussbaumer (2009), the focus of this work is directed at the Gold Standard premium label, guided by the research question of whether Gold-Standard-labeled CERs can be associated with higher potential local SD benefits. The objective of this paper, then, was to establish a coherent framework and to generate a larger database with which the potential local SD benefits of Gold Standard and unlabeled CDM projects could – at least partially – be captured, evaluated and compared in a systematic manner. A ‘representative portfolio’ of 30 unlabeled CDM projects has been created and compared to 18 Gold Standard projects using a multi-criteria assessment method that features 12 SD criteria based on scoring functions. The comparison of means of all Gold Standard project evaluation scores for each criterion with those for the ‘representative portfolio’ of unlabeled CDM projects delivers the ‘full’ effect of the extra Gold Standard label, which is further decomposed into two ‘screen’ effects—the ‘project type screen’ effect and the ‘Sustainable Development screen’ effects. The results suggest that Gold-Standard-labeled CERs can be associated with distinctly higher potential local SD benefits if compared to the ‘representative portfolio’ of unlabeled CDM projects, and that this finding is even more pronounced in the case of the decomposed ‘project type screen’ effect—if Gold Standard projects are compared to unlabeled CDM projects whose project type is not eligible for the label. The results of the other decomposition – the ‘Sustainable Development screen’ effects – are inconclusive, thus echoing Nussbaumer’s (2009) finding. In light of the uncertainties involved, my research does not suggest that there is a detectable potential SD surplus generated by the Gold Standard’s ‘Sustainable Development screen’. The results, however, do suggest that it is, above all, the reliance on renewable energy projects that is responsible for the higher potential local SD benefits of Gold Standard CERs in comparison to the ‘representative portfolio’ of unlabeled CDM projects. My research results thus support previous findings in the literature (e.g. those of Olsen and Fenhann, 2008, Pearson, 2007 and Schneider, 2007) showing that renewable energy projects deliver comparatively high SD benefits. A tentative recommendation for policy makers might therefore be to shift the incentives towards these project types (e.g. through discounting; see Schneider, 2009) and for buyers of CERs, who are concerned with the local SD benefits their offsets may generate, to shift their offset portfolios towards renewable energy CERs. Moreover, one can say that an uninformed buyer of CDM offsets, who may be interested in the potential SD benefits of his or her carbon offsets but lack the resources to obtain further information, might rather buy Gold Standard CERs than a random selection of unlabeled CERs. Due to the previously described limitations of the methodology used and the uncertainties involved, the research findings presented here should be interpreted only as cautious conclusions. The need for further systematic studies, analyzing how different projects and project types contribute to SD and, moreover, exploring the (potential) treatment of the SD objective in future CDM regimes, therefore persists.