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The Road not Taken: Climate Change Policy in Canada and the United States

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  • Kathryn Harrison
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    Abstract

    In 2001, President George W. Bush confirmed that the US would not ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Despite the US' withdrawal, its neighbor Canada chose to ratify the Kyoto Protocol the following year. The divergence of these two highly integrated countries is surprising, since Canada and the US accepted comparable commitments in the 1997 Kyoto negotiations, and both could expect the costs of compliance to be significant given the greenhouse-gas intensive nature of their economies. The divergence cannot be explained by politicians' electoral incentives since Canadian and US politicians alike faced strong business opposition and a relatively inattentive public. A strong normative commitment to international cooperation to protect the global commons was necessary to overcome political opposition to ratification, but still not sufficient. In particular, while both Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and US President Bill Clinton supported ratification, only Chrétien had the institutional capacity to deliver on his values. (c) 2007 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Global Environmental Politics.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 92-117

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    Handle: RePEc:tpr:glenvp:v:7:y:2007:i:4:p:92-117

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    Cited by:
    1. Burkard Eberlein & Dirk Matten, 2009. "Business Responses to Climate Change Regulation in Canada and Germany: Lessons for MNCs from Emerging Economies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 86(2), pages 241-255, March.
    2. Christian Engau & Volker Hoffmann, 2011. "Corporate response strategies to regulatory uncertainty: evidence from uncertainty about post-Kyoto regulation," Policy Sciences, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 53-80, March.
    3. Christoph Böhringer & Nicholas Rivers & Thomas F. Rutherford & Randall Wigle, 2013. "Sharing the burden for climate change mitigation in the Canadian federation," ZenTra Working Papers in Transnational Studies 30 / 2014, ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies, revised Jan 2014.

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