Small is Beautiful: Why a Club Approach is the Way to Go in Climate Change Mitigation
Leal, W. and Surroop, D. (eds.) The Nexus: Energy, environment and climate change, Springer, pp. 305-317; ISBN: 978-3-319-63611-5
16 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2017 Last revised: 18 Jan 2018
Date Written: November 10, 2017
This chapter argues that the Kyoto Protocol to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was doomed to face difficulties ab initio and tries to draw lessons from the international trading system’s architecture for climate change mitigation negotiations. The UNFCCC has traditionally divided the world into developed and developing countries. It places the responsibility of reducing emissions with developed countries as if they were the only sinners of climate change. A better (and arguably fairer) way to tackle the climate change issue today is by bringing together the major GHG emitters, irrespective of their GDP. Why so? Because seen retrospectively, rich-countries have been (and continue to be) the major polluters; they are responsible for most of the GHG emissions, and have the financial and technological means to tackle climate change. However, seen prospectively, it is a developing-countries problem, as predictions indicate that developing countries will be the major polluters. So the major GHG emitters (whether developed or developing countries), which are responsible for historic, current, and future emissions, should therefore be the ones to take action. The chapter concludes that no breakthroughs will take place regarding climate change mitigation until there is more political maturity on the side of the U.S. and until rapidly emerging economies indicate that they are ready to play their part.
Keywords: Bottom-Up Approach to Climate Change Mitigation, Major Economies Forum, Variable Geometry
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