The current climate regime, which focuses on reducing (net) emissions, can be improved in two ways. First, by breaking up the problem, and addressing each part separately, but treating all parts as a system of agreements, new possibilities emerge for enforcement. Second, by incorporating adaptation, "geoengineering," and the risks associated with mitigation options (such as long term storage of nuclear waste and carbon dioxide) in a portfolio of agreements, more opportunities open up for risk management. A portfolio system of climate treaties would be superior to today's single-track architecture.
Since the Kyoto Protocol has so far failed to achieve the core objective of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, this paper proposes a radically different approach. Rather than attempting to address all sectors and all types of greenhouses gasses under one unified regime, the author argues for a system of linked international agreements that separately address different sectors and gasses, as well as key issues like adaptation and technology R&D, and last-resort remedies like geoengineering.
September 5, 2007
Scott Barrett offers a multi-pronged policy approach to address global climate change. He calls for pledges of "appropriate measures" such as emission mitigation actions with subsequent multilateral reviews. Such a pledge and review system would not carry binding consequences for non-compliance, but instead rely on moral suasion and naming and shaming in the international arena.
September 9, 2003
Journal Article, Climate Policy, issue 4, volume 3
By Robert N. Stavins, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Member of the Board; Director, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, Joseph E. Aldy, Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Project on Climate Agreements and Scott Barrett
A critical review of the Kyoto Protocol and thirteen alternative policy architectures for addressing the threat of global climate change.