Road to Paris COP21: Towards Soft Global Governance for Climate Change?
Renewable Energy Law and Policy Review, Vol. 5(2), pp. 130-135, 2014
6 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2014 Last revised: 28 Dec 2014
Date Written: December 1, 2014
This article explores recent climate policy developments in China, the United States (US), and the European Union (EU), as well as their implications for a new global climate regime, expected in December 2015 in Paris. The road to Paris is marked by a shift from global efforts to domestic actions on climate change mitigation, as well as a move from commitments to contributions to carbon emissions reduction. It is argued that the new regime is moving towards a voluntary national pledge and review system which deviates from the EU’s desire for a legally binding climate treaty, bringing any Paris deal closer to the US’s and China’s vision of soft global governance for climate change. This puts a big question mark on whether and how a soft regime could potentially achieve an atmospheric CO2 concentration below 450 parts per million in order to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.
Keywords: COP21, Conference of the Parties, global governance for climate change mitigation, carbon emissions reduction
JEL Classification: K32, K33, N5, O13, Q2
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