Bottom-up Approaches Towards Global Agreement
ESRI Studies Series on the Environment
Edited by Carlo Carraro and Christian Egenhofer
Chapter 5: Participation Incentives and Technological Change: From Top-Down to Bottom-Up Climate Agreements
1 Barbara Buchner and Carlo Carraro Since the adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, climate change has become a key issue in international environmental negotiations. General consensus has emerged that drastic reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are necessary to stop the progress of global climate change. In order to achieve these large-scale reductions, innovative strategies will be required to improve the eﬀectiveness of international climate policy. In this context, the development and adoption of new technologies play a key role. Several recent publications have stressed the importance of technological change and research and development (R&D) in halting the threat of climate change, providing indications that an eﬀective climate policy requires large technical changes and technological breakthroughs. There is ample empirical evidence to support the idea that stimuli to technological change play a crucial role in the reduction of emissions. Pacala and Socolow (2004) demonstrate that fundamental research is vital in helping to develop the revolutionary mitigation strategies needed in the second half of the 21st century and beyond. Such research is putting forward the proposition that currently available energy technologies would already be suﬃcient to meet the world’s energy needs for the next half-century by keeping carbon emissions at current levels instead of doubling them as current emission trajectories would suggest. However, the current technological portfolio is unlikely to bring about the stabilization of GHG emissions in the atmosphere, unless the willingness to pay for emissions abatement is...
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