Chapter 18: Carbon triage: a strategy for developing a viable carbon labelling system
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has expressed increasing scientific certainty about the anthropogenic influence on climate change, concluding in 2013 that the influence is ‘extremely likely’ (IPCC 2013). Despite these developments, the policy response remains quite uncertain. The prospects for international agreement on a comprehensive climate treaty under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process are dim, and the prospects for comprehensive national climate legislation in the United States and many other major emitting countries look no more promising. In this environment, scholars and policy makers over the past several years have become increasingly interested in other governance options, including regime complexes (Keohane and Victor 2011) and climate ‘clubs’ (Victor 2011) at the international level, as well as subnational strategies such as polycentric governance (Ostrom 2012), bottom-up approaches (Stewart et al. 2013) and private governance (Vandenbergh 2013). One such option is carbon labelling, which involves representing on a product label (or otherwise at the point of sale) the product’s contribution across its life cycle to net emissions of gases that contribute to global warming.
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