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Journal Articles International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics Year : 2015

Equity, burden sharing and development pathways: reframing international climate negotiations

Abstract

Distribution issues have been critical in international negotiations on climate change. These have been framed as a ‘burden sharing’ problem since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Three key difficulties are associated with this approach under a cap-and-trade system, namely the lack of consensus over what is equitable, uncertainty over estimates of policy costs, and lack of political realism and economic effectiveness of large-scale international transfers. These difficulties point to the risk of failure of post-2020 negotiations if these are based on the same premises of ‘sharing the emission reduction pie’ within a cap-and-trade regime. History has shown that different development paths can lead to similar economic performances with contrasted emission intensities. This paper proposes some insights into what could constitute a way forward, by recasting the discussion about emission reductions from a development perspective. It concludes that climate negotiations should depart from the current framework and shift to a debate focused on choosing a development path that would address domestic issues, while aligning pure climate policies with development policies. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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Dates and versions

hal-01239780 , version 1 (08-12-2015)

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A. Mejean, F. Lecocq, Y. Mulugetta. Equity, burden sharing and development pathways: reframing international climate negotiations. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 2015, 15 (4), pp.387-402. ⟨10.1007/s10784-015-9302-9⟩. ⟨hal-01239780⟩
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