The Kyoto Protocol went into force on February 16, 2005, using an innovative market-oriented carbon trading scheme. It has three market-based "flexibility mechanisms": Joint Implementation (JI), the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and International Emissions Trading (IET).

These mechanisms are described in detail in a report that I co-authored with Christine Loh of Civic Exchange in Hong Kong for CLSA, entitled The Emissions Game: How Markets Can Help Save the Planet.

I had worked with the Regulatory Reform Staff of the U.S. EPA in the early 1980s on such ideas. The State of Illinois provided financial support when we established an emissions brokerage in Chicago in 1981 – obviously a bit ahead of our time!! – and then U.S. EPA funded my Ph.D. dissertation research to help develop such mechanisms to address the problem of acid rain.
(Check out my 1987 book, Acid Rain & Emissions Trading)

In the late 1990s, I worked with a number of students at the University of Pennsylvania to study how such mechanisms could work for regional ozone control (and we published an oft-cited paper in Resource & Energy Economics, available upon request).

I've worked over the past several years to help take such mechanisms worldwide. Some examples:

Conducted multiple training sessions about the Kyoto Protocol, Joint Implementation, and GHG baseline determinations for U.S. AID-funded program.


Training in carbon markets and the Clean Development Mechanism in conjunction with UN DESA and the e8 (now the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership), a consortium of major electric power utilities.


Roger at CDM session in Managua, Nicaragua

Islamic Republic of Iran

Conducted study of the pros and cons of this OPEC country ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, and conducted workshops in conjunction with UN DESA, UNFCCC and UNDP in Tehran and Isfahan


Roger and students at Isfahan U.


I worked at the United Nation's headquarters for four years (2001-2005), in UN DESA's Division for Sustainable Development.

During this time, we worked with faculty and students at Columbia U. to examine how countries were setting sustainable development criteria under CDM, and also how we might lower transaction costs for this mechanism.

Cover photo. Grays Ferry Cogeneration Plant, Philadelphia, PA, by Deepta Sateesh, 2005
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