Journal Article

The Kyoto Protocol: A Review and Perspectives

Christoph Böhringer

in Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Published on behalf of The Oxford Review of Economic Policy Ltd

Volume 19, issue 3, pages 451-466
Published in print September 2003 | ISSN: 0266-903X
Published online September 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2121 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/19.3.451
The Kyoto Protocol: A Review and Perspectives

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International concern about climate change has led to the Kyoto Protocol, negotiated in 1997, which contains legally binding emission targets for industrialized countries to be achieved during the commitment period 2008–12. While proponents of the Protocol celebrate it as a breakthrough in international climate policy, opponents say that its approach, namely setting targets and timetables for emission reductions, is seriously flawed. This paper provides a critical assessment of the Protocol's potential performance and discusses amendments to foster its effectiveness and efficiency. It concludes that, even without any effective emission reductions in the initial commitment period, the ratification of Kyoto is important for the further policy process of climate protection. The Kyoto Protocol has established a flexible, broad-based, international mechanism that provides a valuable starting point for shaping efficient climate policies in the future.

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Subjects: Economic Development and Growth ; Public Economics ; Political Economy ; Public Policy

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