Binding Targets for Developed Country
Parties: 5% Below 1990 Levels by 2012
No Binding Targets for Developing Country
‘Clean Development Mechanism’: Get Credit
for Emissions Reductions by Paying for
Emission Savings in Other Countries
Seen as First Step: Little Net Emissions
Reduction because Increased Emissions in
Developing Countries Compensate for
Decreased Emissions in Developed Countries
Underlying Ethical Issue: Who
Should Pay the Costs of
Developing Countries Argue for More
Time: the Advanced Countries Put the
CO2 into the Atmosphere
– LDC Annual Contribution has only just
Caught Up with OECD Countries’
– LDC Aggregate Contribution Catches up in
OK, But We’re All on the Same Planet –
and China is Now the #1 Emitter
US Senate (1998) Refuses (95-0) to Ratify Kyoto
Protocol Unless LDCs Agree to
Newly Installed Bush Administration Abandons
Kyoto Protocol on the Grounds of
Damage to Economy
Little Net Reduction in Emissions
Refusal to Try to Improve Kyoto Furiously
Resented by Europeans
Kyoto Entered into Force,
EU Has Instituted a Mandatory Trading Regime,
and EU Members have Instituted Domestic
Measures so as to Reach 2012 Targets
– UK and Germany have an Advantage Because of
Special Circumstances: UK Shrank Inefficient Coal
Industry, Switched to Natural Gas. East Germany
Closed Massively Inefficient Industry.
Targets, However Modest, are Now Out of Reach
for Nearly All Other Countries, Given 1990s
– US Target Would Require 30% Cut in Energy Use.
Policies for Reducing
Regulated Emissions Reduction
Market-Based Policy Instruments
– Carbon Tax (i.e., a Tax on CO2 Emissions)
Economically Logical but Politically Difficult
– Emissions Trading (not formally a tax)
A Cap-and-Trade Bill (Waxman-Markey) has
Passed the House, is Pending in the Senate
– Passage Not Assured: Impact is Especially
Heavy on States Dependent on Coal for Power
How is the Cap to be Set?
– By Science? by Politics? or Both?
How are Allowances to be Allocated?
– By Auction? By Past CO2 Emissions?
Are there to be Escape Clauses (‘Off-Ramps’) if
Carbon Credits Become Too Expensive?
Are International Transactions Allowed?
– ‘Joint Implementation’? ‘Clean Development
How Will Free Riders be Dealt with?
– Impose a ‘Border Adjustment’ on Imports from Non-
Participating Countries? (It’s in the House Bill.)
– This may or may not pass muster with WTO, and Would
Threaten a Major Trade War
Existing Emissions Markets
– European Union, 2005
Teething Troubles: Price Collapse in 2006 from
– Internal Corporate Programs (BP)
– Voluntary Multi-Corporation Programs
Chicago Voluntary Exchange
Technical Post-Kyoto Issues
Collaboration on Technology Development
Carbon Sequestration is Particularly Important, Since China and
India Have Huge Coal Reserves
Forests as Carbon Sinks
– Credit for Planting Forests
– Credit for ‘Avoided Deforestation’?
How to Verify?
Who Gets the Money?
– Forest People?
‘Geoengineering’: Fertilizing the Ocean to Increase Carbon
Capture by Plankton
– This May be within the Resources of Wealthy Individuals
– An International Legal Limbo
Bali Action Plan (2008): Basis for
Small Adjustment Fund to Help LDCs Adjust to
Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation
Non-Binding National Action Plans for
Parallel Negotiating Tracks (Complicated!)
– Technical Cooperation (Under UNFCC)
– Working Group on Extending Kyoto
An International Conference in
Copenhagen in December Begins
to Negotiate Post-Kyoto Regime
US Failure to Pass Waxman-Markey Hangs over
Developing Countries Refuse Binding Targets but
Progress on REDD, Less on Other Issues, No Formal
Obama Negotiates Last-Minute ‘Accord’
– Legal Status Unclear – But If Nations Comply, Who Cares?
Major Economies Forum Will Continue Discussions
and Technical Cooperation
– Numerous Bilateral Agreements Exist, at Least on Paper
Take-Home Lessons (STIA)
Science Puts Issue on the Agenda,
Governments Recognize the Value of
Regular Scientific Advice, and Integrate it
into the Diplomatic Process
However, Even the Strongest Scientific
Consensus is not Proof against a
Determined Counter-Attack by Powerful
Multilateral For a are Tough Places to
Negotiate Complex Technical Issues
Sovereign Nations Decide the Political
Response – but Nature Has the Last Word
A Change in Our Notion of Security?
– If the Ocean Rises and Floods the Coast, What Good
was the Navy?
A Blurring of the Distinction Between Public
and Private Issues
– Exxon’s and BP’s Policies are as Important as
A Blurring of The Distinction Between
Domestic and International Issues
– If CO2 Originating in the US Affects the European
Climate and the Flow of Major Asian Rivers, US
Energy Policy Isn’t a Purely Domestic Issue Any
More. It’s ‘Intermestic’!
– The Same is True of China and India
We Will Return to these Issues
When We Discuss Energy.