A Portfolio of Domestic Commitments: Implementing Common But Differentiated Responsibilities
Robert N. Stavins
Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Resources for the Future; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
October 18, 2009
International negotiations are focused on developing a climate policy framework for the post-2012 period, when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period will have ended. In addition to negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), other intergovernmental outlets, including the G8( 5) and the Major Economies Forum, are trying to reach common ground among the world’s major emitters of greenhouse gases. To date, these efforts have not produced a politically, economically, and environmentally viable structure for a future climate agreement. An effective, but more flexible and politically palatable approach could be an international agreement on a “portfolio of domestic commitments.” Under such an arrangement, nations would agree to honor commitments to greenhouse gas emission reductions laid out in their own domestic laws and regulations. A portfolio of commitments might emerge from a global meeting such as the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, or a smaller number of major economies could negotiate an agreement among themselves, and then invite other countries to join.
Keywords: global climate policy architecture, global climate change, global warming
JEL Classification: Q54, Q58, Q48, Q39
Date posted: December 13, 2009