The clean development mechanism shall be subject to the authority and guidance of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol and be supervised by an executive board of the clean development mechanism.
The CDM is governed by the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP). Apart from Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, the decisions of the COP/MOP are the primary sources of law for the CDM.
The COP/MOP has developed modalities and procedures for large-scale, small-scale, forestry and small-scale forestry projects under the CDM. Before the Kyoto Protocol came into effect on 16 February 2005, decisions relating to the CDM were made by the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP). These decisions were later adopted by the COP/MOP. Article 12(4) is the legal source of the COP/MOP's law-making power for the CDM.
The functions of the COP/MOP include:
- deciding on recommendations made by the Executive Board in relation to its own rules of procedures and the CDM more generally;
- designating operational entities (DOEs);
- reviewing the regional and subregional distribution of DOEs and promoting the designation of operational entities from non-Annex I Parties;
- reviewing the regional and subregional distribution of project activities to identify and overcome barriers to their equitable distribution; and
- assisting in arranging funding of CDM project activities.
The modalities and procedures developed by the COP/MOP have been clarified and elaborated by the Executive Board. The functions of the Executive Board include:
- making recommendations to the COP/MOP relating to the CDM rules;
- approving new methodologies related to baselines, monitoring and project boundaries;
- providing guidance and clarifications on the CDM rules created by the COP/MOP; and
- registering project activities and approving the issuance of CERs (including requesting reviews of registration and issuance).
Some of these functions have been delegated to subordinate bodies. For example, the Methodologies Panel (Meth Panel) advises the Executive Board on the development and approval of new methodologies.