NGOs and the Clean Development Mechanism – constraints and opportunities in the discourse of EU consultations

When creating the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Kyoto Protocol described three main aims: meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets, sustainable development, and providing emissions cuts for the lowest cost. This study argues that these three aims represent powerful discourses, justifying the European Union’s continued reliance on offset credits from the CDM. Furthermore, when advising policy-makers, NGOs may find it difficult to overtly oppose offsetting due to the power of these ideas. However, it also argues that these three discourses may provide some opportunities for NGOs to form new narratives, highlighting some of the contradictions inherent in offsetting.

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