The Kyoto Protocol: A Testing Ground for Compliance Theories?
63/2 Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (Heidelberg Journal of International Law) 255-280
26 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2012
Date Written: 2003
The article begins with a sketch of the main theoretical perspectives on compliance with multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). Much of the theoretical debate in the context of MEAs has focused on the respective merits of the “managerial” and “enforcement” approaches. Both approaches can be situated within rational institutionalism. Relatively less attention has been paid in the MEA debate to explicitly constructivist frameworks, and to efforts to identify the features that enable legal norms to exert distinctive influence on actors. Such approaches enrich the debate and provide important additional insights into ways to promote compliance with MEAs. The article then surveys the emergence and key features of MEA-specific non-compliance procedures. Next, it provides an overview of those features of the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that are directly relevant to the design of a compliance regime. Against this backdrop, the article outlines the main elements and innovations of the Procedures and Mechanisms on Compliance under the Kyoto Protocol that were adopted at Marrakech in November 2001. The article concludes with an assessment of the Procedures and Mechanisms, highlighting apparent trends in the design of MEA compliance regimes and their import for the theoretical debate on compliance.
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