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3 The Roles of Developing Countries in Regard to Global WarmingThe Clean Development Mechanism and the Multi-Stage Approach
Asuka Jusen , Proffesor

The Center for Northeast Asian Studies
Tohoku University 

1.Problems of the Clean Development Mechanism

The CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) of the Kyoto Protocol has the two following purposes: 1) To achieve sustainable development for the host country (developing countries). 2) To reduce greenhouse gas emissions cost efficiently. However, that these two purposes exist simultaneously means that CDM has a limit as a system, and it has become the fundamental grievance against CDM because the two act as a trade-off.

That is, for many advanced nations who are buyers, especially for many companies, a low price is the most important factor or the sustainable development index is just an "empty slogan".

On the other hand, host countries that would also like to implement projects that contribute to sustainable development have additional benefits. However, if the price competition with rival countries (other developing countries) is lost, everything will be lost. This is not what we want.

However, the products are non-uniform, and if the supply side is able to take a differentiation strategy, although the size is unknown, it is no wonder that a so-called premium market exists. I distributed a questionnaire about the quality of credit to Japanese, European and American companies, and the results indicate that many respondents consider quality and recognize that it appears in price differences when purchasing GHG credit. In the questionnaire to European and American companies, when we asked them about their exact willingness to pay, we found that a high premium (1 Euro / carbon dioxide ton grade) might be placed on general versatility. In fact, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), which is an environmental group, created its original credit evaluation named the Gold Standard (enterprise, addition and a baseline, sustainable development), and some dealings have already been conducted.

2. Participation of Developing Countries

The criticism made against the Kyoto Protocol is that “it is defective because the US and many developing countries aren’t participating.” However, this is a “lie” which deceives the public who are ignorant about it, especially that developing countries have an obligation to reduce green gas emissions.This is an unreasonable and an unfair request as of this moment.
Here are three reasons why is it unreasonable: First, it ignores the population size. Surely, according to many emission predictive model calculations, the total emissions in developing countries (Non Annex I country) will exceed those in developing countries (Annex I country) between 2030 and 2050. It seems that criticizing the US, Japan, China, and India is the same as country people saying to city people, “The city emits ten times as much CO2 as the country.

The second reason is to ignore emissions per person. Actually, although the population of developing countries is ten times as large as industrialized countries, their emissions are much lower because people who live in developed countries emit several times as much greenhouse gas as those of developing countries. At the present moment, to force people in developing countries to reduce emissions is equal to ordering people who don’t use electricity not to use it forever.

The third reason is to ignore the relationship between creating emissions and the damage caused by global warming. According to a viewpoint of the IPCC (panels between governments in climate change), people living in southern developing countries are directly damaged by flood and drought that global warming causes, and they don’t have the tough infrastructure, disaster insurance, ways to escape or the money to spare for the increase in food prices.

I believe that requiring a gradual commitment from all countries is the fairest and most rational solution, using an index of emissions per person and income per person on a future framework basis. This is the concept called the multi-stage approach. This is the basic framework of the plans which many researchers, environmental organizations, and the EU government propose.

3. Future Problem

The international community considers Japan to be a big buyer of credit. On the other hand, regarding suppliers, it is becoming clear that supply from JI/CDM related to CO2 is considerably insufficient to meet demand. Therefore, complying with Japan’s numeric targets of the Protocol depends largely on China’s HFC plan and AAU trading with Russia.

Either way, this year, when the first MOP will be held, is a very important year for both keeping numeric targets of the Protocol and deciding the framework after 2013. Regarding the Kyoto Protocol, the presumable worst scenario for Japan is that “Japan can’t comply with the numeric targets” or “Japan’s government trade with Kremlin on and behind the scenes somehow doesn’t balance out.”The worst case scenario for the international community is that “nothing is decided by 2008 concerning the matters after 2013.”

I just hope that Murphy's Law of “anything that can possibly go wrong, will go wrong” doesn’t apply this time.


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