A New Perspective on Climate Policy
The Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei series on Economics, the Environment and Sustainable Development
Edited by Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro, Emanuele Massetti and Massimo Tavoni
Chapter 3: Getting to Yes
Global warming has emerged as the defining challenge of our century, and prominently features in international and national political agendas. Interestingly, it is no longer confined to the environmental realm, but rather it is discussed in high-level economic forums, such as Davos and the G8 meetings, where the link with economic growth and prosperity is made explicit.1 Climate change is truly a global problem, and addressing it requires unprecedented levels of collaboration and coordinated actions. Yet, a cursory look at the literature and at recent news shows that, despite alleged progress at the latest Conferences of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Cancun (2010), Durban (2011) and Doha (2012), we are still far from achieving a consensus on the steps and measures needed to fully address the challenge. For the very first time in the history of the UNFCCC, the so-called ‘Cancun Agreements’ bring the global goal of keeping the temperature increase below 2°C into formally negotiated text.2 However, in Cancun, delegates failed to agree on concrete mitigation measures and, above all, on how the burden should be shared across countries and regions. The 17th Conference of the Parties in Durban reaffirmed and furthered the commitments taken in Cancun the previous year, in particular on climate finance. Yet, parties failed once again to agree on concrete mitigation targets. The ‘Doha Gateway’ does pave the way for the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, yet the level of ambition is well below what would be required to keep temperature increase below 2°C, with major emitting countries remaining outside the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.
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