Can Non-state Certification Systems Bolster State-centered Efforts to Promote Sustainable Development Through the Clean Development Mechanism?

Jonathan G.S. Koppell, Montclair State University
Kelly Levin, World Resources Institute
Benjamin Cashore, Yale University


Increasing economic globalization has coincided with the emergence and escalating influence of non-state actors and organizations in domestic and international policymaking, from shaping policy agendas to promoting private authority. The latter phenomenon has arisen, at least in part, from a critique of states’ failures to adopt effective and enduring environmental policies. Rather than contest “command and control” institutions, non-state strategies embrace market approaches built around incentives and price mechanisms. Several forms of non-state authority have emerged, including corporate social responsibility, provision of information through labeling, and self-reporting.