Chapter

Global Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol

Scott Barrett

in Environment and Statecraft

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199286096
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602832 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199286094.003.0015
 Global Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol

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This chapter applies the theory developed in this book to a current challenge: global climate change. It provides an introduction to the issue, summarizes the history of negotiations, and provides estimates of the costs and benefits of mitigation. It then explains why the Kyoto Protocol will not succeed in sustaining cooperation because it fails to do what the book explains all good treaties must do — it fails to restructure incentives. In particular, it can only work if its obligations can be enforced, and yet Kyoto fails to provide the means for enforcement. The chapter then considers a range of alternative treaty designs, and explains why these will also fail. Finally, it uses the logic of the book to develop an alternative approach that is likely to prove more fruitful. This alternative approach focuses on the development and diffusion of new technologies rather than on emission targets and timetables.

Keywords: climate change; Kyoto Protocol; benefit-cost analysis; flexible mechanisms; enforcement; research and development; technology standards

Chapter.  20534 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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