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An Evaluation of Market Based Policy Instruments for Clean Energy in the Global South


The growth of carbon markets over the past decade has emerged as a powerful form of pro-poor financing that has quickly increased the number of rural household energy efficiency programs implemented in the global south. This dissertation explores the role that market-based policy instruments can have in advancing the dual goals of rural energy access and sustainable development in the global south. Historic low carbon prices combined with contentious international climate negotiations and an uncertain future for emission trading systems serve as the context for this study, which offers insights for policymakers in structuring future market mechanisms for increasing energy access for the global poor. My findings highlight the important role of nonstate actors in creating predominantly private and voluntary systems of market-based policy initiatives that are only now emerging in the face of faltering international action for climate change in a post-Kyoto Protocol era. Through grounded case studies I examine key assumptions that underlie carbon accounting rules and metrics to understand the consequences for practical monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) under market-based policies. I also present empirical data from household air pollution and fuel consumption measurements from village homes in China to highlight the importance of developing robust monitoring protocols for new technologies prior to inclusion into market-based programs.

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