Michael Wara and David G. Victor's recent work "A Realistic Policy on International Carbon Offsets" addresses problems with the world's largest offset program, the UN's Clean Development Mechanism. Wara and Victor argue that much of the CDM investment doesn' actually meet the UN's crucial additionality standards, and they outline ways to fix the problem.
In the News: Wall Street Journal on July 23, 2008
Income from carbon offsets has become French chemical manufacturer Rhodia SA's most profitable business. The WSJ estimates payouts to the firm from projects in Brazil and South Korea could total $1 billion over seven years, raising questions about the incentive structure of the CDM. David G. Victor argues that carbon markets are not sending the appropriate signals to the developing world.
In the News: Science Magazine
California's plan to cut carbon emissions 10% by 2020 relies on offsets as a part of a cap and trade scheme. Michael Wara points out the challenges that face the state as it designs its offset program, and David G. Victor sheds light on difficulties faced by the world's largest offset program, the UN's CDM protocol.
In the News: Wall Street Journal on July 11, 2008
The CDM Executive Board recently approved several gas-fired power plants under the UN's carbon offset scheme, opening the door for subsidizing coal generation and stoking controversy. Michael Wara questions the additionality of such projects and argues subsidies are better spent on other clean-energy development.