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"United In Global Climate Change" Strategy

1075 words - 5 pages

BACKGROUND
The main objective of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is to limit the global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, the 1992 Kyoto Protocol committed developed countries to reduce GHG emissions; however little reductions have been achieved until the end of the first commitment period in 2012. In regard of this date, the Doha Amendment to the Tokyo Protocol was adopted to continue with the second commitment period from 2013 to 2020 with the aim of achieving higher reductions of GHG. Since then, several Conferences of the Parties (COP) have taken place in order to set a universal climate agreement which will be signed at ...view middle of the document...

Prior to this date, governments must set their national targets on GHG emissions so that other parties can analyze whether the targets are sufficiently ambitious and avoid high levels of global warming. Therefore, it becomes a challenge for COP21, which will be hosted in Lima, rescue the negotiations and further goals of the UNFCCC in order to sign the new global treaty in climate change in late 2015. To secure the governments' commitment to reduce GHG emission, a "maximize effort" strategy is proposed. The strategy should retain the interest and leadership of US and China in guiding other countries to achieve their GHG cuts and maximize its impact with other alliances and initiatives.

OPTIONS FOR CONSIDERATION
1. Considering the lack of consensus of previous COPs, this option suggests guiding the COP21 to voluntarily set the governments' own targets to reduce GHG. With the support of US and China, this option will retain the interest of developed and developing countries on being part of a global non-binding treaty on GHG cuts, and at the same time preparing countries for COP22. In this sense, this option will try to emulate the progressive process of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which started with 23 founding members until the end of 1994 when 124 members became part of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This process should act in the same way regarding climate change while countries with the possibilities of reducing more GHG emissions will generate incentives so that other countries become part of the universal climate agreement. However, this could be considered as a retort of what happened in UN's annual Climate Conference in Copenhagen. In this conference, although countries agreed voluntarily on the target cuts, environmentalists and leaders of developing countries criticized this agreement as weak and demanded larger emission cuts from developed countries. Thus, the risk of this option is that the goals might not be ambitious to avoid the increase of the global temperature.

2. Highlight the influence of the role of US and China to achieve ambitious GHG cuts through alternative tools such as alliances. The agreement should concentrate efforts on supporting the design of other tools to maximize the impact of the GHG cuts from all the parties. In view of the risks and opportunities that the world faces...

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