An interesting deconstruction of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) can be found at the website of the World Socialists. The CDM is a part of the Kyoto Protocol; specifically, it is a U.N. sponsored GHG emissions trading program designed to encourage sustainable development in countries such as India and China.
I will not comment at any length on the short-comings noted by the World Socialists, or the folks at CDM Watch, other than to say that while their criticism may be largely valid, the problems they indicate do not seem insurmountable. But I'm not even going to make a case on this point at the moment.
What is important for me is that most of the arguments they make are variations on their conclusion:
The ineffectiveness of the Kyoto protocol stems from the fact that it attempts to reconcile environmental measures with the nation-state system and the demands of private profit and corporate competition.
And the lesson contained in this brief passage is that the Kyoto Protocol, or at least the CDM portion of it, is not some nefarious act of U.N. Communism. Or at least the World Socialists, who should be authorities on the topic, do not think it is.
Rather, the CDM has been created with the express intention that it should operate within the parameters of Global Capitalism. It is, and was meant to be, an attempt to harness the power of the marketplace for a perceived social good, to set Capitalism loose on a particular social problem, not restrain it.
And many of the weaknesses the World Socialists identify in the CDM are simply a result of people taking advantage of the rules, which happens in any kind of market.
Therefore, when Conservative critics of the protocol say that Kyoto "can't work", they are actually agreeing with the World Socialists, expressing doubts at the ability of the Capitalist System itself to deal with the issue of Global Climate change.
(h/t to the people at the Free Dominion, my favorite new crazies)