Friday, December 11, 2009

Draft Negotiating Document for Copenhagen

The Ad-Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change today released a draft negotiating document, based on its assessment of the "temperature" of the parties currently meeting in Copenhagen. The Washington Post has made a pdf file of the negotiating document available (here). The document is usefully brief, and provides clear options for the parties to choose from on issues such as the targeted ceiling of additional warming and emissions reductions from 1990, 2005, or 2010.  The document does not, however, suggest specific emissions reduction targets for individual parties. More importantly, the document does not treat any institutional issues, other than developed country financing for mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. As I have consistently argued, the institutional issues, especially those relating to instrument choice, are as or more important than target setting in climate policy. Targets will be meaningless if parties are unable to put effect, reliable, and enforceable institutional mechanisms in place to achieve them.

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