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Targets and Timetables: Good Policy But Bad Politics?

ARCHITECTURES FOR AGREEMENT: ADDRESSING GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE POST-KYOTO WORLD, Joseph E. Aldy, Robert N. Stavins, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2007

UGA Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07-014

11 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2007 Last revised: 24 Aug 2009

Daniel Bodansky

Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Abstract

From a policy perspective, a climate architecture based on economy-wide, binding emissions targets, combined with emissions trading, has many virtues. But even such an architecture represents good climate policy, it is far more questionable whether it represents good climate politics - at least in the near-term, for the upcoming "post-2012" negotiations. Given the wide range of differences in national perspectives and preferences regarding climate change, a more flexible, bottom-up approach may be needed, which builds on the efforts that are already beginning to emerge, by allowing different countries to assume different types of international commitments - not only absolute targets, but also indexed targets, taxes, efficiency standards, and so forth. Such an approach would not provide a long-term solution to the climate change problem; the more costly climate change mitigation is, the more states will want greater assurance that their efforts are being reciprocated by other states. But a bottom-up approach might help break the current impasse and get the ball rolling. It reflects, not ideal policy, but rather less than ideal politics.

Keywords: climate change, international environmental law, global warming

JEL Classification: K32, K33

Suggested Citation

Bodansky, Daniel, Targets and Timetables: Good Policy But Bad Politics?. ARCHITECTURES FOR AGREEMENT: ADDRESSING GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE POST-KYOTO WORLD, Joseph E. Aldy, Robert N. Stavins, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2007; UGA Legal Studies Research Paper No. 07-014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1033550

Daniel Bodansky (Contact Author)

Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law ( email )

Box 877906
Tempe, AZ 85287-7906
United States

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