The CDM boasts thousands of projects and relies on an elaborate infrastructure linking the Kyoto rules with domestic operations in some 140 countries. New instruments under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, on the other hand – destined to take over emission reduction activities from the Kyoto environment – are not yet designed. An abrupt stop for new and continued operations under the CDM at the end of 2020 would likely result in a gap in the availability of a continued global emission reduction infrastructure at large.
There is little legal guidance on the underlying question of whether the CDM has a legal basis to operate after Kyoto’s second commitment period expires in 2020. The authors provide a tentative analysis of key legal elements and hope to stimulate a broader debate in the run-up to COP 25 in Santiago.