CBDR&RC in a Regime Applicable to All

14(1) Climate Policy 102-121 (2014)

Posted: 31 Jul 2014

See all articles by Harald Winkler

Harald Winkler

University of Cape Town (UCT); University of Cape Town (UCT)

Lavanya Rajamani

Centre for Policy Research

Date Written: June 3, 2013

Abstract

The principle of common, but differentiated, responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR&RC) is fundamental to the UNFCCC. Some options for a nuanced model of differentiation that addresses both responsibility and capability in a changing world are explored, such as new categories of countries, and some of the political issues that such a model might face are considered. The strengths and limitations of options for graduation based on 'objective' criteria such that countries could move between categories or 'graduate' – an option provided by the UNFCCC – are discussed. Countries could also choose to join another club (e.g. the G20), self-elect into categories or differentiate among themselves implicitly by accepting different commitments and actions. CBDR&RC will form part of the overall legally binding agreement, and must apply symmetry in some respects and differentiation in others to the commitments and actions contained therein. Some possible characteristics of CBDR&RC of relevance in a regime 'applicable to all' are outlined. These include promoting climate action and using mechanisms available in the UNFCCC to instil dynamism. Differentiation on mitigation must consider the distinctions between absolute and relative reductions, as well as commitments to outcomes and implementation. CBDR&RC should be applied to mitigation, adaptation, and the means of implementation.

Keywords: capability, CBDR&RC, differentiation, Durban Platform, equity, responsibility

Suggested Citation

Winkler, Harald and Rajamani, Lavanya, CBDR&RC in a Regime Applicable to All (June 3, 2013). 14(1) Climate Policy 102-121 (2014), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2464922

Harald Winkler

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

3rd Floor, leslie Commerce Building
Engineering Mall, Upper Campus
Cape Town, Western Cape 8000
South Africa

University of Cape Town (UCT) ( email )

3rd Floor, leslie Commerce Building
Engineering Mall, Upper Campus
Cape Town, Western Cape 8000
South Africa

Lavanya Rajamani (Contact Author)

Centre for Policy Research ( email )

Dharma Marg
Chanakyapuri
New Delhi, 110022
India

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