Issues in developing an effective climate regime after 2012
To support the emergence of an internationally acceptable approach to addressing climate change, a post-2012 climate regime will need to balance the diverse needs of all countries while striving to prevent the potentially serious economic and social consequences of the impacts of climate change. Achieving this balance will require the emergence of a common understanding of the issues associated with four key elements of a potential post-2012 climate change regime:
the need to ensure sustainable economic development;
the effective development and penetration of clean technologies;
the establishment of an effective international carbon market over the long term; and
the integration of adaptation in development and natural resource management decision-making.
To foster better understanding of these four elements internationally and support Canada's efforts to prepare for COP-11/MOP-1 (2005), IISD prepared Which Way Forward? - Issues in developing an effective climate regime after 2012. A compilation of four discussion papers, the purpose of these papers was to review options on how best to create an effective and inclusive international climate change regime that will:
achieve the large reductions in global emissions necessary to avoid the dangerous environmental impacts of climate change while adapting to a changing climate; and
fairly and equitably reflect the diverse circumstances of countries while promoting sustainable economic growth.
Full and summary versions of each of the four discussion papers are available for review:
Climate Change and Sustainable Economic Growth
Full Version (949 kb) - Summary Version (393 kb)
The speed and scale of socio-economic transformation required to avoid the risk of serious harm caused by climate change are unprecedented in human history. Yet that change must be pursued in a manner that will not unduly compromise the pursuit of development and economic prosperity. This paper sketches out some of the characteristics of an international policy framework for cooperatively engaging the best tools of the scientific and policy communities to address this challenge in the short and long term.
Climate Change and Technology
Full Version (1,293 kb) - Summary Version (223 kb)
Technology is expected to play a critical role in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Meeting the long-term objective of the UNFCCC will require, over decades or centuries, that society reduces GHG emissions to near zero. To achieve the required reductions will require a significant transformation of the conventional technology used to produce and distribute energy, manufacture goods and provide transportation. The paper examines how a global climate regime for post-2012 could more effectively promote the development, deployment and diffusion (DD&D) of appropriate technologies.
Climate Change and the International Carbon Market
Full Version (243 kb) - Summary Version (203 kb)
Political leaders and business leaders from a range of countries and sectors have affirmed that a key element for a successful global climate regime is an efficient and effective carbon market. Market-based approaches can encourage innovation, enable cost-effective reductions, increase the feasibility of achieving deep long-term, reductions, and promote the development, deployment and transfer of low-carbon energy technologies. This paper examines how a future "global" climate regime might make the most effective use of market forces, including the promotion of a robust and efficient carbon market.
Climate Change and Adaptation
Full Version (1,678 kb) - Summary Version (256 kb)
Adaptation to the impacts of climate change will need to be addressed in a more prominent manner in a post-2012 climate regime, reflecting the growing scientific evidence that impacts are already affecting economic, socio-cultural and ecological systems. This paper examines research and policy developments relevant to determining how a future regime could support a long-term, integrated approach to addressing adaptation to climate change by all countries.