Sustainability Ascertainment for CDM: : The case study of renewable energy projects in China
China’s spectacular economic growth during the last decade has brought many benefits and challenges. As China poised to leapfrog today’s global economics creates huge negative environmental impact thus make China becomes one of the biggest potential to reduce its emissions. Further, China made rapid progress in learning how to mitigate its pollution by becoming the major player of the global carbon market with expecting to have its own cost efficient for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by learning through the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). However, to assist Annex I countries in meeting their greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets with cost-effective reduction is not the only goal of CDM but also to achieve sustainable development in non-Annex I countries. Nonetheless, the first objective is measurable in term of the greenhouse gas reduction amount while the second objective is difficult to determine due to lacking of clear procedure and well proven methodologies and limited knowledge on the application of CDM sustainable development assessment. As China being the major player in CDM market especially in renewable energy projects therefore sustainability assessment are needed to ascertain if CDM projects are actually contributing to sustainable development. The research question that this paper aims to answer: How to measure sustainability performance from CDM renewables projects in China? I will discuss and propose a sustainability assessment tool which is based on quantified data. To provide solutions to this problem, the aim translates into a set of six specific research questions:
- What is the definition and criterion for CDM projects in regards to its contribution to sustainable development in China?,
- What are the requirements for an effective sustainability assessment for CDM renewables projects?,
- How suitable are the existing methodology in respond to determine sustainable development performance?,
- Is the developed methodology applicable with CDM renewables projects in China?,
- What is the best sustainable CDM renewable energy project for China?,
- What will China benefit in implementing this developed methodology?
A SWOT analysis distinguished the MATA-CDM methodology from the other methodologies, and an appraising tool was further developed. With a flexibility and people related preferences, this tool is applicable to any size of project. As one of the objectives of the thesis is to help China define better sustainable development criteria and indicators, the ultimate sustainability performance ascertainment tool offers the height of rarity and possibility to ensure sustainability performance results for each and every examined CDM renewable energy project in China. The results of the fiveregistered CDM projects are actively exhibited that they have positively promoted sustainable development in China, even though a few projects have been ineffective in the development. Thus to improve sustainability performance of a project, project developer need to understand the implication of China’s sustainable development criteria and better understand the activities that can truly improve project sustainability performance an with the developed methodology, China can improve its society, environment, and nation economy in terms of sustainable development.
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