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  • Author: James Bacchus
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: There is a looming collision between the rules frameworks of the two separate international institutions that have been created and entrusted with addressing trade and climate change. Links between trade and climate change can no longer be ignored by either the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Neither has considered the consequences of the trade restrictions that are likely to be part of many national measures enacted to address climate change, which will fall within the scope of the WTO Agreement and will surely lead to a lengthy WTO dispute settlement process. Such trade-restrictive national measures will be fed by domestic fears of “carbon leakage” and a loss of national competitiveness, and WTO disputes resulting from such measures will confront numerous unanswered legal questions due to an absence of relevant WTO jurisprudence. To minimize the political risks of such a collision to both the WTO and the COP, and to combine the most benefit for the climate with the least risk to trade, a WTO climate waiver is urgently needed. The adoption of a WTO climate waiver should be only the first of the ways in which WTO members revise and realign WTO rules in accordance with the objectives of sustainable development.
  • Topic: Climate Change
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Eduardo Viola, Leonardo Paz Neves
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: In December 2015, members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gathered in Paris at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP). Expectations regarding the Conference were high: having failed to agree on a legally binding treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol at COP 15, in Copenhagen, when expectations were very high because of the new climate friendly presidency of Obama and the possibility of a shift in the Chinese position, and in 2012, when the first commitment period of the Protocol expired, members settled COP 21 as the new deadline. Achievements of the Conference, especially the Paris Agreement, will be judged differently depending from the point of view.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Cooperation, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: J. Jackson Ewing
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Asia Society
  • Abstract: FACING UP TO CLIMATE CHANGE IS A KEY CHALLENGE OF OUR TIME. We are on pace in 2016 to again record the warmest global temperatures ever measured; a distinction that now appears to be an annual occurrence. Weather is becoming less predictable, storms more intense, and drought and flooding more pervasive. This destroys livelihoods, impedes economic progress, and undermines the sustainable development gains we are working hard to achieve. Slowing down and ultimately reversing climate change requires us to lower our greenhouse gas emissions. And effectively pricing carbon emissions is a vital place to start. Pricing carbon through markets creates incentives, sets clear rules, and encourages regulated organizations to lower emissions in flexible ways that work for them. Like much in the current climate change arena, the main action on carbon markets is happening beneath the global scale. After years of chasing global mechanisms to price and trade carbon emissions credits, the landmark Paris Agreement of December 2015 both recognizes and provides political and policy space for efforts at local, state, and regional levels. The relevance of carbon markets is growing apace; almost doubling in scale since 2012 with forty states and twenty-three cities, regions, and provinces pricing emissions worth some $50 billion.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Todd Moss
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Energy is fundamental to modern life, but 1.3 billion people around the world live without “access to modern electricity.” The current definition of modern energy access—100 kilowatt-hours per person per year—is insufficient and presents an ambition gap with profound implications for human welfare and national economic growth. This report summarizes the energy access problem, the substantial efforts underway to bolster power generation and access in the poorest regions, and highlights concerns about the specific indicators being used to measure progress. It then condenses a set of analytical and conceptual questions the working group grappled with, such as why and how to better measure energy usage and the multiple options that should be considered. The report concludes with five recommendations for the United Nations, International Energy Agency, World Bank, national governments, major donors, and other relevant organizations.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Climate Finance, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Haroldo Machado Filho, Thiago de Araújo Mendes
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: Haroldo Machado Filho and Thiago Mendes introduce the reader to the complex architecture of international funding available for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. In a very consistent manner, the authors propose an analysis on the institutional and political context in which the creation and maintenance of these financial mechanisms occur. Emphasizing the truly global spatial scale of climate change, Machado Filho and Mendes highlight the importance of international cooperation to promote the transformation to a low-carbon world and with more resilient societies to climate change. However, the authors show that the negotiations in multilateral forums aimed at the question of financing have been marked by slow decision-making and the absence of clear rules that guide the implementation of the agreements.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Trade and Finance, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus