Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


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Michael Wara

Law Professor and Faculty Affiliate

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September 17th, 2008

Wara reviews performance of the Clean Development Mechanism

in the news: UCLA Law Review on August 1, 2008

Michael Wara reviews the UN's Clean Development Mechanism's (CDM) performance, using empirical analysis to illustrate its successes and failures in using a carbon credit market to reduce greenhouse gases. He concludes by suggesting possible reforms to the CDM in anticipation of the Kyoto Protocol's expiration in 2012.




July 23rd, 2008

PESD work on the role of carbon offsets in climate change mitigation attracts international attention

Michael Wara and David Victor's recent work, A Realistic Policy on International Carbon Offsets, addresses problems with the world's largest offset program, the UN's Clean Development Mechanism. Wara and Victor argue that much of the CDM investment doesn't actually meet the UN's crucial additionality standards, and they outline ways to fix the problem.




July 15th, 2008

Michael Wara and David Victor Address the Role of Offsets in California's Cap and Trade Plan

in the news: Science Magazine

California's plan to cut carbon emissions 10% by 2020 relies on offsets as a part of a cap and trade scheme. Michael Wara points out the challenges that face the state as it designs its offset program, and David Victor sheds light on difficulties faced by the world's largest offset program, the UN's CDM protocol.




July 14th, 2008

Michael Wara Discusses Coal and the CDM

in the news: Wall Street Journal on July 11, 2008

The CDM Executive Board recently approved several gas-fired power plants under the UN's carbon offset scheme, opening the door for subsidizing coal generation and stoking controversy. Michael Wara questions the additionality of such projects and argues subsidies are better spent on other clean-energy development.




May 28th, 2008

Carbon markets need reform, say Wara and Victor

in the news

A new PESD working paper, "A Realistic Policy on International Carbon Offsets" by Michael Wara and David Victor, argues that a substantial fraction of the international carbon market does not actually represent real reductions in emissions. They also argue that these international credits, which are part of the Kyoto Protocol's "Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)," will not offer companies reliable ways to contain the cost of complying with limits on emissions. Links below to the original paper and reporting in many sources, including the Economist, Guardian, Le Monde, National Public Radio, and BBC Radio.





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News around the web

Going Green(er): Planning the Next Era of Environmental Regulation in India
Instilling increased environmental responsibility in industrial projects has no short cuts, according to Michael Wara, a law professor and research fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, who specializes in environmental law and policy.
October 21, 2010 in Knowledge@Wharton