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Towards a Better Climate Treaty

Author

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  • Scott Barrett

Abstract

The essential problem with the Kyoto approach is that it provides poor incentives for participation and compliance: The minimum participation clause is set at such a low level that the agreement can enter into force while limiting the emission ofless than a third ofthe global total. The compliance mechanism essentially requires that non-complying countries punish themselves for failing to comply - a provision that is unlikely to influence behavior. The likely outcome will be an agreement that fails to enter into force, or an agreement that enters into force but is not implemented, or an agreement that enters into force and is implemented but only because it requires that countries do next to nothing about the treaty. These weaknesses cannot be improved by a minor redesign ofthe treaty. The basic problem stems from the requirement that countries agree to, and meet, emission limitation ceilings - the most centrai element ofthe Protoco!. My proposal focuses on collective funding ofbasic research into the development of new technologies and on standard protocols for the adoption and diffusion ofnew technologies around the world. The main attraction of this approach is strategie: it does not require that compliance be enforced, and it provides positive incentives for participation. 1t is not an ideai remedy to global climate change, but the principle ofsovereignty means that an ideai remedy does not exist for this problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Barrett, 2002. "Towards a Better Climate Treaty," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 4, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0172
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    Cited by:

    1. Mathews, John, 2007. "Seven steps to curb global warming," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 4247-4259, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental policies; Climate change;

    JEL classification:

    • Q20 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - General

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