Issue 04/2013


Are Cities a Relevant Scale of Action to Tackle Climate Change?
Magali Dreyfus
Some Reflections to Inform the Debate on the Post-2020 Regime
The Role of Domestic Law in “Agreed Outcome with Legal Force”
Dr. Birgit Lode, Milan Dehnen
Assessing the Indian Interpretation of a Possible Durban Platform Outcome
Coordinating, Mandating, Monitoring
Thomas Spencer, Elizabeth Hipwell
What Can the Post-2015 Climate Regime Learn From Global Financial Governance?
The Role of Common but Differentiated Responsibility in the 2020 Climate Regime
Rowena Maguire
Evolving a New Understanding of Differential Commitments
Can Attention to the Process Improve the Efficiency of the UNFCCC Negotiations?
Dr. Antto Vihma, Dr. Kati Kulovesi
While many are hopeful that the mandate under the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action to negotiate a new legal instrument applicable to all Parties from 2020 marks a new era in international climate policy, the beginning of the journey has not been an easy one. Indeed, with political stakes higher than before, it seems that the UN climate change negotiations will face considerable procedural hurdles also in the future. The UNFCCC regime has also gone through significant evolution on the institutional front in recent years. Notably, several limited membership bodies have been created, arguably increasing continuity in the process by ensuring more frequent and detailed consideration of issues such as adaptation, finance and technology. In light of these developments, this paper focuses on the efficiency of the UNFCCC negotiations, discussing proposals to streamline the negotiating process under the Conference of the Parties and its subsidiary bodies, the role of the Presidency and ministerial involvement, and the potential of the Limited Membership Bodies to expedite work under the UNFCCC.
Does the Climate Regime Need New Types of Mitigation Commitments?
Wolfgang Sterk, Lukas Hermwille
Apart from the much-debated question of what legal form the 2015 climate agreement is supposed to have, another core issue is the substantive content of countries’ commitments. While the climate regime has so far mostly been based on emission targets, literature has identified a broad range of other possible types of mitigation commitments, such as technology targets, emission price commitments, or commitments to specific policies and measures (PAMs). The nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) submitted by developing countries under the Cancún Agreements also show a broad range of different forms of participation.
A Process for Making Nationally-determined Mitigation Contributions More Ambitious
Kentaro Tamura, Takeshi Kuramochi, Jusen Asuka
Based upon the lessons from the current initiatives under the climate regime as well as relevant literature, this paper discuss specific steps and time frames that aim to add ex-ante clarity to nationally determined contributions to climate change mitigation and enhance their levels of ambition. The process proposed has three distinctive features: 1) A consortium of research institutes is established with a view to providing benchmarks to which Parties can refer to when proposing their initial contributions, and against which each Party’s relative contribution to the 2°C target is assessed; 2) To enhance ex-ante clarity and comparability of Parties’ contributions, the consortium also provides a common and clear template for information on mitigation contributions that Parties will complete ex-ante; 3) A limited number of Parties - for example, the G20 member countries - are requested to complete the common template and go through an international consultation process with a view to amending contributions to meet the required aggregate contribution for the 2°C goal.
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