Barriers and Opportunities
Edited by Rosemary Lyster and Robert R.M. Verchick
Chapter 2: The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the international climate change regime
The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC) is a central foundational pillar of the international climate change regime, but it has also generated considerable disagreement between Parties over the years. The extent to which the climate change regime will succeed in its goals to limit climate change and reduce the risk of disasters depends on the extent to which this principle can be effectively operationalized. In its absence — if states believe themselves to be treated unfairly — the international climate change regime will flounder, dramatically increasing the risk of runaway climate change and disasters. This chapter examines the principle of CBDR-RC, including its core content, its legal status, and its operationalization in the Paris Agreement. The chapter pays particular attention to the aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation, as they relate to disaster risk reduction.
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