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A Bottom-Up Approach for Climate Change: The Trade Experience

Author

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  • Leal-Arcas Rafael

    (Queen Mary University of London; World Trade Institute (University of Bern))

Abstract

This article argues that the Kyoto Protocol to the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change was doomed to face difficulties ab initio. Moving the climate change agenda forward multilaterally among the 195 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is proving to be a serious challenge. The lack of progress in UNFCCC negotiations in recent years, especially the failure to obtain an international agreement on emissions limitations targets and timetables by all major developed and developing country emitters, has led many to question whether the UNFCCC is, in fact, the best and most effective forum for mobilizing a global response to climate change. The current approach to negotiating a comprehensive, universal, and legally binding global agreement on climate change is unlikely to succeed. The article concludes that no breakthroughs will take place regarding a global climate change agreement until there is more political maturity on the side of the U.S., and until rapidly emerging economies such as China and India indicate that they are ready to play their part in tackling the climate change challenge, since they are part of the solution. Large emitters of GHG need to be involved for negotiations to come to a conclusion. Much progress is still needed until we reach an international agreement that covers all the world’s countries and that is strong enough to tackle climate change effectively and is equitable enough to gain the sympathy of all countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Leal-Arcas Rafael, 2012. "A Bottom-Up Approach for Climate Change: The Trade Experience," Asian Journal of Law and Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(4), pages 1-54, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:ajlecn:v:2:y:2012:i:4:n:3
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