Rio, Kyoto, Marrakesh - groundrules for the global climate policy regime

After four years of intense negotiations that tethered on the brink of failure, the design of the international climate policy regime that is formed by the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the Marrakesh Accords is now sufficiently clear to be implemented. Apart from the U.S. and Australia, all industrialised countries have now stated that they will ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Industrial countries are subject to binding greenhouse gas emissions targets for the commitment period 2008-2012. Several countries profit from exceptions that weaken the targets. The availability of forestry and agricultural sinks will further lower the necessity for emission reductions. A world market for emission rights will form as the Kyoto Mechanisms can be used without limits; the only category apart are sinks CDM credits that are capped. Given the U.S. position to stay out of the Kyoto Protocol, overall demand for emission rights is likely to be lower than supply of "hot air" from Russia and Ukraine. Thus the world market price will be very low, probably between 1 and 5 - / t of CO2. The price could be higher if sellers form a cartel or some sellers are excluded from the market when they do not fulfil the relatively strict reporting rules agreed in Marrakesh. Under a low price the CDM whose institutional structure is rather cumbersome will only have a chance if it concentrates on the cheapest project types and most effective host countries. Especially attractive are projects collecting and burning landfill methane while most renewable energy projects are too expensive, unless they are implemented in very favourable locations.

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HWWA Discussion Paper 152

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-04

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