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Whither the Kyoto Protocol? Durban and Beyond
Dan Bodansky
The Harvard Project on Climate Agreements (2011)
Open Access


What will happen when the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period expires at the end of next year? This paper for the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements analyzes the options going forward, including adoption of a legally-binding second commitment period, a "political" second commitment period, or no new commitment period. It considers the legal implications of a gap between the end of Kyoto's first commitment period and the adoption of a new legal regime to limit emissions, the prospects for the Clean Development Mechanism in the absence of a second Kyoto commitment period, and the relationship between the Kyoto Protocol negotiations and the emerging regime under the Cancun Agreements. It concludes that a transitional regime, involving a second commitment period that is politically but not legally binding, represents a possible middle ground that could complement efforts under the Cancun Agreements to develop a flexible, evolutionary framework of climate governance.
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