The Flexible Mechanisms to Combat Climate Change: A Critical View of their Legitimacy
The Kyoto Protocol makes available the use of three economic mechanisms as a supplementary way of mitigating climate change: joint implementation, clean development mechanism and emission trading. They share the same rationale, which is to provide flexibility to achieve the compliance of the emission targets, allowing for the reduction of emissions at a minimum cost by efficiently allocating the responsibilities between agents. The new business opportunities they offer have attracted the attention of most developed and emerging countries. However, it is doubtful that they can bring an adequate solution in stabilizing and reducing greenhouse gases emissions, threatening the environmental integrity of the climate change regime (CCR); nor do they offer a fair and equitable solution to the challenges of global warming. Therefore, it is important that their use remains supplemental to the main goal of reducing and stabilizing green house gases emissions. As a matter of fact, sustainable development could only be achieved if economic efficiency is balanced with environmental integrity and equitable treatment.
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