, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 307-320,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Carbon emission right as a new property right: rescue CDM developers in China from 2012

Abstract

Clean development mechanism (CDM) is encountering many uncertainties due to the coming end of the commitment period and critically suggested reformation. As the largest participant in the CDM market, China shoulders the biggest proportion of market risk. Among the studies on CDM in China, few have focused upon the legal aspect of CDM, which is crucial in defending developers’ interests. To fill this research gap in making the transition from policy to law, this paper claims that carbon emission right, which is the basis of trade, should be attributed as a property right in Property Law of People’s Republic of China. The present study will discuss the characteristics of carbon emission, definition, and legal attribution of carbon emission right. The valid object of carbon emission right in the CDM market under Property Law should be certified emissions reductions (CERs). The usufructuary right could be specifically applied in practice to the owners’ property right on CERs in China. Although experience from the CDM is not fully applicable to the development of cap and trading, the success of CDM market provides a reasonable platform to study emission right in the view of legal science. Furthermore, the proposed research acts as the pioneer study that lay the theoretical foundations in legal science on emission right trading for other potential schemes, which in turn addresses international environmental issues.