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Report - Economic instruments in the service of climate

Report - Economic instruments in the service of climate


The Center for Strategic Analysis has published a report:

The Economic Instruments for Climate

The scientific community was the first to be alarmed climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established in 1988, has drawn attention to the probable link between emissions from human activity, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and temperature variations. Since the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, the United Nations (UN) attempted to initiate and coordinate efforts to reduce emissions. The Kyoto Protocol is the first outcome, since 38 countries assigns reduction targets to 2012.

Since the entry into force of this text in 2005, negotiators have continued to discuss the terms of a new agreement, which would be more ambitious but also expanded to a larger number of countries. The climate conferences, held in Copenhagen in 2009 and Cancun in 2010 by the UN, however, have shown how difficult it was to agree on reduction targets in 192 countries. Climate protection, if it benefits all, is the sum of individual actions, making it difficult to reach consensus between countries with different priorities.

The Cancun agreement is a turning point in the climate negotiations, since, taking note of this problem, it lays the foundation for a more flexible architecture. The governments have agreed to provide a reduction target for 2020, although these statements are not legally binding one. All of these commitments now covers 80% to 90% of global emissions, against 55% at the time of the Kyoto Protocol. However, they are not nearly as ambitious as like climate and climate change experts.

The threat of global warming moves the lines and policies of many governments have unilaterally decided to set goals for reducing emissions. While some bills have failed for internal political reasons, we should still see the birth of a number of initiatives in the coming years. In the absence of a uniform price of carbon, which seems out of reach in the medium term, countries will find the best ways to increase the effectiveness of this polycentric architecture. That's where the next move appears to UN conference on climate in Durban, in December 2011. Negotiators are realistic about the level of ambition to give the new agreement, that are not questioned the gains fiercely negotiated in Copenhagen and in Cancun. Rather than "open" the chapter on national reduction targets, negotiators will certainly devote much discussion to the economic mechanisms that could call new arsenal of instruments recognized by the UN in the fight against climate change


Centre d’analyse stratégique