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Article
Advancing the International Effort Against Climate Change: Towards an Integrated Multi-track Framework
Dan Bodansky and Elliot Diringer
Pew Center on Global Climate Change Report (2008)
 
Open Access

Abstract:

The paper proposes an "integrated multi-track framework approach" to the post-2012 climate change negotiations initiated in Bali, which seeks to introduce "bottom-up" flexibility while retaining the cohesion and reciprocity of "top-down" commitments. Under a multi-track approach, all major economies would enter into commitments aimed at reducing or moderating their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but the type of commitment would vary. For example, some countries might have binding economy-wide emission targets, as under Kyoto, while others would commit to implement national policies such as efficiency standards, renewable energy targets, or measures to reduce deforestation. Some, in addition, could participate in sectoral agreements on targets, standards, or other measures addressing emissions from particular sectors. The paper elaborates the rationale for an integrated multi-track approach; draws lessons from other multilateral regimes, and identifies key issues in designing a multi-track climate framework. It assesses three models: an "individualized commitments" approach, which affords countries the greatest flexibility; a "parallel agreements" approach, which provides more structure and integration; and an "integrated commitments" approach, in which countries agree to negotiate within given tracks towards a comprehensive package agreement. The paper concludes that of the three, the "integrated commitments" model is the one most likely to produce a collective level of effort sufficient to meeting the challenge of climate change.


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