Publication Laka-library:
Nuclear Power for greenhouse gas migitation under Kyoto Protocol: the CDM

AuthorHans Holger Rogner, IAEA
DateSeptember 2000

From the publication:

    Nuclear Power for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation under the Kyoto Protocol:
                 The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
                                           Hans-Holger Rogner
                                      Department of Nuclear Energy
                                International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Background on the Kyoto Protocol and Flexible Mechanisms
The possibility of global climate change resulting from an increase in greenhouse gas (GHG)
concentrations in the atmosphere is a major global concern. At the Third Conference of the Parties
(CoP 3) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held at Kyoto, in
December 1997, industrialized countries (i.e., Annex I countries1) agreed to accept binding commitments
that would reduce their collective GHG emissions, in the 2008-1012 commitment period, by at least 5%
below 1990 levels 2. These Annex I countries also agreed to make demonstrable progress towards
reducing GHG emissions by 2005.
Because climate change is a global problem, i.e., it does not matter where on the globe GHGs are
emitted – they all end up in the same atmosphere, many market economists maintain that mitigation
should first occur wherever it is cheapest. Thus Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol makes provisions by
which those signatories who are required to limit emissions can gain credit for financing cost-effective
mitigation projects in developing countries, while at the same time promoting sustainable development
through the provision of financial and technical assistance. This option is known as the Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM).
The CDM could be of particular interest to developing countries, which are not subject to emission
limitations in the Kyoto Protocol. For example, the use of capital-intensive nuclear power instead of less
costly coal-fired electricity generation would result in a significant reduction in GHG emissions.
Because many developing countries may not be able to afford the higher investm