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

Mejean, A; Lecocq, F; Mulugetta, Y; (2015) Equity, burden sharing and development pathways: reframing international climate negotiations. International Environmental Agreements-Politics Law and Economics , 15 (4) pp. 387-402. 10.1007/s10784-015-9302-9.

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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.

Type: Article
Title: Equity, burden sharing and development pathways: reframing international climate negotiations
DOI: 10.1007/s10784-015-9302-9
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10784-015-9302-9
Language: English
Keywords: Burden sharing, Sustainable development, Equity, Development pathways
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1473871
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