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Part I Introduction, Ch.2 Climate Change and International Law beyond the UNFCCC

Alan Boyle, Navraj Singh Ghaleigh

From: The Oxford Handbook of International Climate Change Law

Edited By: Cinnamon P. Carlarne, Kevin R. Gray, Richard Tarasofsky

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 19 June 2024

Climate change — Environmental disputes — Pollution — Arbitration

This chapter discusses the various shortcomings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. As a ‘framework convention’, the UNFCCC itself does not regulate climate change but only creates a basis for negotiating multilateral solutions. The Convention’s most evident weakness, as demonstrated during the Marrakesh Accords and the Copenhagen negotiations, is the dependence on the ability of the parties to reach the necessary agreement within a timescale. Complementary to the Convention, the Kyoto Protocol establishes quantitative emission restrictions to advanced industrial states, or Annex I parties. However, the Protocol only focuses on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rather than on consumption, a reason which led to Canada’s withdrawal. According to international governance scholar Oran Young, these problems emerge as a result of the climate change regime not being based on ‘principles of fairness’ that are broadly acceptable major players.

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