Toward a Post-Kyoto Climate Change Architecture: A Political Analysis

27 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2008  

Robert O. Keohane

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Kal Raustiala

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law

Abstract

Any international regime aimed at the mitigation of global climate change must solve three problems: 1) secure sufficient participation; 2) achieve agreement on meaningful rules; and 3) ensure compliance with those rules. That is, it must solve problems of participation, effectiveness, and compliance. In this paper, prepared for the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements, we focus on the compliance problem, but with careful consideration of the first two issues. We propose a post-Kyoto Protocol compliance system that is based upon emissions trading coupled to buyer liability. Section I addresses the trade-off between participation and strictness of rules by proposing what we call an 'economy of esteem for climate change.' Section II discusses participation. We suggest that only a cap-and-trade architecture is likely to make it politically possible to secure sufficient participation to get a climate change mitigation regime up and running. Section III analyzes the problem of compliance and argues that, contrary to the current provisions in the Kyoto Protocol, a system of buyer liability is essential. Section IV considers how institutions to assess compliance with emissions reductions could be constructed. Finally, Section V addresses potential weaknesses of our buyer liability system and provides responses to these criticisms. Throughout, we write from the standpoint of the politics of international cooperation; our policy recommendations take into account the more technocratic literatures on compliance, liability, and so forth but flow directly and primarily from our political analysis.

Keywords: Global climate change, Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements, Kyoto Protocol, emissions reductions, international cooperation

Suggested Citation

Keohane, Robert O. and Raustiala, Kal, Toward a Post-Kyoto Climate Change Architecture: A Political Analysis. UCLA School of Law, Law-Econ Research Paper No. 08-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1142996 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1142996

Robert O. Keohane

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Kal Raustiala (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law ( email )

385 Charles E. Young Dr. East
Room 1242
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1476
United States
310-794-4856 (Phone)

Paper statistics

Downloads
851
Rank
21,413
Abstract Views
3,384