Exploring the Measurement of Sustainable Development in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

This paper explores the consistency of a proposed method of measuring sustainable development in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), with particular reference to the Gold Standard, a premium CDM label. The research applies a sustainability matrix to 40 CDM and 40 Gold Standard projects to explore the relative influence of different drivers of sustainable development. The study finds that Gold Standard accreditation and project host country are the primary drivers of whether CDM projects have potential to promote a range of sustainable development benefits in this sample. Other postulated drivers including number of CERs (Certified Emissions Reductions) generated and project type are found to be statistically inconsistent. The paper concludes that a set of quantitative measures for sustainable development could improve transparency in assessments of sustainable development potential