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

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  • Aurélie Méjean

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  • Franck Lecocq
  • Yacob Mulugetta

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. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Aurélie Méjean & Franck Lecocq & Yacob Mulugetta, 2015. "Equity, burden sharing and development pathways: reframing international climate negotiations," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 387-402, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ieaple:v:15:y:2015:i:4:p:387-402
    DOI: 10.1007/s10784-015-9302-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Charles Hourcade & P.-R. Shukla, 2015. "Cancun’s paradigm shift and COP 21: to go beyond rhetoric," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 343-351, November.

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