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“Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities” as Part of the Post-2012 Climate Regime

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Author(s): Ellen Margrethe Basse | Sanford E. Gaines

Journal: Nordisk Miljörättslig Tidskrift
ISSN 2000-4273

Volume: 2010;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 189;
Date: 2010;

Keywords: climate change | NAMA | CBDR | SCM | intellectual property rights

ABSTRACT
The Copenhagen Accord confirms ‚common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities‛ (CBDR) as a guide to action on climate change—based on different responsibilities for developed and developing countries. The article explains CBDR, then looks at instruments to facilitate technology development and transfer for renewable energy systems (RES), which in theory fits well with CBDR. The Kyoto Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is consistent with CBDR but has not been effective enough to date. Changes to CDM such as multi-project ‚programs of action‛ may improve effectiveness. Nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) commitments by developing countries and better monitoring of NAMAs may also spur RES technology diffusion. Proposed ‚sector carbon markets‛ (SCM) would strengthen incentives for RES technology even more, but because SCM involves emission reduction obligations it faces resistance from the same developing countries that complain generally about IPR barriers. Voluntary bilateral technology cooperation agreements may capture some of the technology diffusion benefits of an SCM program. But appeals to CBDR and avoidance of mitigation commitments by developing countries remain an obstacle to improved cooperation for transfer of RES and other climate-friendly technologies between developed and developing countries.

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