Volume 12

Beatriz Felipe Pérez, Jane A. Hofbauer, Monika Mayrhofer and Paola Villavicencio Calzadilla

Rethinking the Role of Development Banks in Climate Finance: Panama’s Barro Blanco CDM Project and Human Rights

Development banks are key actors in climate finance. During the last decades, they have increased the funding of climate change related projects, especially those under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Defined in Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, the CDM aims at contributing to climate change mitigation while assisting in achieving sustainable development. However, many CDM projects have caused environmental damage and human rights abuses that especially affect the most vulnerable people. Located in Panama, the Barro Blanco hydro-power dam exemplifies the complex interrelationship of climate financing, development policies, the political and economic national context and human rights. Through the analysis of the role of development banks in climate finance, especially in the context of CDM projects, this paper aims (1) to clarify the role of development banks in climate finance, (2) to shed light on the vulnerable situation of the people affected by these projects, (3) to highlight the gaps in both the CDM rules and the development banks’ safeguard policies concerning the protection of human rights and the prevention of environmental abuses, and (4) to give a current example of this complex situation through the Barro Blanco case study. This paper argues that the manifold and often competing national and international legal and political layers of climate change mitigation projects repeatedly leave project affected people vulnerable to human rights violations without adequate safeguards and mechanisms to effectively articulate their interests, protect their rights and promote access to justice.

T S Krishnan

Does Better Environmental Governance Reduce Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Emission? A Cross-Country Analysis

Understanding the impact of environmental governance is one of the important questions in environmental studies. We hypothesize improvements in environmental governance to reduce anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases that trap heat in environment. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas and one of the major determinants of a country’s environmental quality. Using publicly available data for 120 countries, we test the relationship between environmental governance and anthropogenic CO2 emission using econometric modelling. We find that a unit increase in environmental governance leads to 0.36 metric tonnes reduction in anthropogenic CO2 emission. This study justifies the role of existing environmental governance initiatives, calling for more inter-country and intra-country agreements to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emission.

Selected instruments

Model Clauses for Mutually Agreed Terms on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing

by Gerd Winter & Evanson Chege Kamau