Our Common Future Under Climate Change

International Scientific Conference 7-10 JULY 2015 Paris, France

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Friday 10 July - 14:00-15:30 UNESCO Bonvin - ROOM XIII

4403 - Revising the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement architecture for better governance and outcomes

Parallel Session

Lead Convener(s): D. Esty (Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America), J. De Melo (Université de Genève, Genève, Switzerland)

Revising the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement Architecture for Better Governance and Outcomes

D. Esty (Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America)

Abstract details
Revising the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement Architecture for Better Governance and Outcomes

D. Esty (1)
(1) Yale University, Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America

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For two decades, the global response to climate change has centered on a top-down, targets and timetables oriented, government-funded, nation-state-driven framework of regulatory mandates. But this international treaty architecture has produced neither the action orientation nor the on-the-ground results needed to address the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.  Thus, the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement should be recast to support a 21st Century bottom-up climate change policy strategy that focuses on broadening "engagement” to ensure that those who make the decisions that matter from the perspective of changed behavior and transformed outcomes  -- Mayors, Governors/Premiers, CEOs, and other civil society leaders — are recognized and given more formal roles in the global community response to the climate challenge.

 

Professor Esty’s presentation will explore three elements of what should be done to advance this strategy of broader engagement: (1) options within the 2015 Paris Architecture for formalizing the role of subnational jurisdictions and the other non-national actors -- and ensuring their “ownership” of and leadership on the climate change challenge; (2) a framework of metrics designed to encourage the contributions of this broader set of actors as well as providing structure and mechanisms of accountability for their actions; and (3) a strategy for dramatically expanding the funding for clean energy and other critical climate change investments through a focus on using limited government funds to leverage private capital. He will further explain how a reframed Paris Agreement that promotes broader engagement offers not just a pathway to more successful climate change action but also a 21st Century model for managing international interdependence.

De-fragmenting the climate regime for a better international climate governance

S. Maljean-Dubois (CERIC UMR DICE 7318, Aix-en-Provence, France)

Abstract details
De-fragmenting the climate regime for a better international climate governance

S. Maljean-Dubois (1)
(1) CERIC UMR DICE 7318, Aix-en-Provence, France

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At the international level, a regime complex could be defined as "an array of partially overlapping and non-hierarchical institutions governing a particular issue-area" (Raustiala & Victor). More precisely, regime complexes form "a network of  three or more international regimes that relate to a common subject matter ; exhibit overlapping membership ; and generate substantive, normative, or operative interactions recognized as potentially problematic whether or not they are essential in identifying regime complexes and analyzing their effects" (Orsini, Morin & Young).

Our contribution will try to give a legal analysis of the regime complex for climate change, which has been until now mainly defined and characterized by international relations and political scientists.

After a legal mapping of the regime complex for climate change, the contribution will wonder what role could play the Paris accord in the "de-fragmentation" of the climate regime. Beyond the well-known finding of a fragmented, polycentric and complex international climate governance, how to build a more integrated and effective regime complex on climate change? Much of the institutional innovation in regime complexes arises at the joints between regime éléments. By drafting the Paris accord, negotiators should pay attention to various emergents networks of norms and actors. Finally, how to inject new life into the global community’s response to climate change  through systematic links (legal or institutional, formal or informal) to other regimes like for example the trade regime, the ozone regime or the biodiversity regime? 

Our work forms part of a collective interdisciplinary project funded by the French National Research Agency and named CIRCULEX (Circulations of Norms and Actor Networks in Global Environmental Governance ). Concerning the international regime complexes for climate change and biodiversity, the first objective of CIRCULEX is to highlight the plurality of “sites of governance" and formal and informal links between these sites. This work highlights the diversity of actors involved and their modes of interconnection, as well as the diversity of standards that circulate in the complexes, in terms of origin, content and scope. A first set of conclusions could be drawn about the internal dynamics of regime complexes, conflicts and convergence of standards and interconnections with other regimes. We describe also the modalities of circulation of norms and experts in the regime complexes, and measure the permeability of economic actors to environmental governance standards, evaluate the interrelationships between public and private actors in the regulation. Finally, our project highlights the impacts of norms and networks of actors on the functioning of regime complexes, especially in terms of implementation and effectiveness. Does permeability favor a greater effectiveness of regimes or not ?

The role of the trade system in promoting climate action

R. Meléndez-Ortiz (ICTSD, Geneva, Switzerland), I. Jegou (ICTSD, Geneva, Switzerland), S. Hawkins (International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Energy, Geneva, Switzerland)

Abstract details
The role of the trade system in promoting climate action

R. Meléndez-Ortiz (1) ; I. Jegou () ; S. Hawkins (2)
(1) ICTSD, Geneva, Switzerland; (2) International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Energy, Climate & Energy, Geneva, Switzerland

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COP21, scheduled for December 2015 in Paris, is expected to deliver a “protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties”. Whereas the exact shape of the future climate change architecture is still to be defined, the work under the ADP, including the INDC-process, indicates that we are heading towards an approach of best-endeavor pledges by countries on individual mitigation contributions.

An advantage of this scenario is that it gives much leeway to countries to design and implement climate policies which suit their individual situations, needs and capacities. Among the challenges to be addressed are first how to ensure that the individual contributions add up to an ambitious enough response to climate change, and second that they are if not coordinated so at least mutually supportive.

In this context, the emergence of collaboration between groups of countries in “clubs” is an interesting and noteworthy development. Indeed, framing climate deals in smaller groups, designed in a way that encourages expansion of membership and linkages among groups over time, could be an effective way forward which complements multilateral efforts and reinforces the dynamic towards reaching collective agreements.

Taking into account the complexity of designing deals in the UN-oriented system of diplomacy, encouraging smaller club-like initiatives could contribute to the larger climate goal.

A recent ICTSD paper[1] identifies six main tasks that clubs could perform. They could provide a forum for enthusiastic countries to “do the deals” that would get reluctant countries to make bigger efforts; play a role in designing smart Border Carbon Adjustment Measures, BCAs; craft conditional commitments; craft and demonstrate technology strategies; tackle easier problems and last, learn how to help countries adapt.

In order for clubs to be effective and eventually attract new members, they will need to rest on coercion and on positive incentives working to ensure the realization of real gains. In this context, there may also be a need to develop benefits that are exclusive to club members. In the area of climate change, this is particularly challenging as the main gain of joint action on mitigation is aggregate emissions abatement, the benefits of which accrue to the whole world.

The possible linking of clubs, as well as the creation of certain exclusive benefits, are pertinent questions with respect to the world trade system. Can and should trade governance play a pro-active role to promote and facilitate the interplay between clubs, and if yes in what respect?

This intervention, based on recent and upcoming work in ICTSD, in particular under its joint E15-initative, will address such questions. [2]

[1] Victor, David G. The Case for Climate Clubs. E15Initiative. Geneva: International Centre for Trade and Sustainable

Development (ICTSD) and World Economic Forum, 2015. www.e15initiative.org/

[2] http://e15initiative.org/

Internal coherence of the Paris outcome and connections to other regimes : conditions for confidence, cooperation and ambitious action for climate

T. Ribera (Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, Paris, France)

Abstract details
Internal coherence of the Paris outcome and connections to other regimes : conditions for confidence, cooperation and ambitious action for climate

T. Ribera (1)
(1) Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, Paris, France

Abstract content

From the experience of the last Conferences of the parties to the UNFCCC, many things have changed in a very short time. Climate negotiations are not any more to be considered a zero sum game, but are now explicitly aiming to gather all countries in order to strengthen cooperative approaches, learning processes and mutual reinforcement of each one’s efforts towards their own decarbonized and climate resilient future.  The biggest challenge is to consolidate confidence, among governments and also from other stakeholders, both on the ability of governments to act and implement climate policies now, and on the ability to build a consistent framework to incentivize further and more ambitious action in the future.

This means, at least, two new streams of work. The first one could be defined as a positive differentiation within the multilateral platform: how to integrate plurilateral action in the multilateral context in order to ensure a common learning process from plurilateral experiences and benefiting from constructive attitudes to speed up the transformation, while also ensuring the capacity to maintain a full multilateral perspective and a global adequacy assessment mechanism.  The second one relates to the bridges between the climate community of stakeholders and the outside world, between the climate regime and other regimes of governance at different scales : the objective is to build a new normality where climate action is consistently mainstreamed in other decision processes –either public or private, policy or investment measures, be they sectoral, regional or local-. What are the conditions for such an integration in a diversity of decision frameworks ?

Building the internal coherence of the Paris outcome as well as ensuring its connections to other regimes and fora will be two key milestones for the decades to come. This communication will develop some proposals concerning the expected Paris agreement and the organization of the post COP21 climate regime.

Panel discussion

J. De Melo (Université de Genève, Genève, Switzerland), D. Esty (Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America), S. Maljean-Dubois (CNRS/Ceric, Paris, France), R. Meléndez-Ortiz (ICTSD, Geneva, Switzerland), T. Ribera (Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, Paris, France)

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Panel discussion
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