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The first protocol to the UN Framework Covention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in Kyoto in 1997. It is a unique international law instrument which sets stringent, legally binding targets for the reduction of emissions of the 'greenhouse gases' (primarily Carbon Dioxide) which contribute to climate change. The targets are unprecedented in an environmental agreement and will involve substantial financial commitment in virtually all industrialized countries. This is also the;first international agreement to include 'economic instruments' to assist parties to meet the targets.
These economic instruments, known as the 'Kyoto Mechanisms' or the 'flexibility mechanisms' are joint implementation, the Clean Development Mechanism, and emissions trading.
The Kyoto Protocol defined these mechanisms, but did not set out the details necessary for their operation. After protracted negotiations, detailed rules were finalized at the Seventh Session of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Marrakech. The 'Marrakech Accords' run to almost 250 pages, but still leave many important practical issues unaddressed. As the Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism begins to operate and more and more projects are developed to take advantage of the;Kyoto Mechanisms, the key issues and problems are now becoming more apparent.
Drawing on the emerging body of expertise in this complex area, this book conveys a knowledge of what is becoming known as 'Carbon Finance'. It thereby aims to contribute to the development of the market for carbon emission reductions - one of the objectives of the Kyoto mechanisms.