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Review of available information on how the CDM can produce greater benefits for poor people

This report has been produced in response to an Evidence on Demand Help-Desk request. It supports a proposed DFID project business case to increase the flow of international carbon finance to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) – with a focus on Africa – to support poor peoples' access to clean energy.

The report highlights the major barriers and reflects the broader market context in which Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects operate. Conventional barriers to private sector investment in clean energy access are as important as CDM-specific barriers. There is some project evidence but no systematic analysis that CDM projects improve energy service affordability within CDM project boundaries. There also evidence but no systematic analysis of poor peoples’ and community involvement in the selection of technologies through the CDM. Findings take account of the voluntary carbon market, which usually aims to show high sustainable development benefits, including energy access.