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Discussed at the international level since the 1980s, climate change is from now on at the top of the international political and diplomatic agenda. The urgency to act has been shown over the last years in many aspects. Climate change policies fit into the scheme of what political scientists call “multilevel governance,” which emphasizes the role of international negotiations but also the multiplicity of public and private stakeholders—NGOs, businesses, unions—either with a global, regional, domestic, or local basis, and the diversity of on-going processes at different levels from global to local and from local to global. Because stakes are global, the international climate change regime nevertheless plays a pivotal and decisive role. The international climate change regime is, however, shaped slowly and step by step. The Kyoto Protocol (1997) has 193 parties but the United States, the primary GHG emitter in 1997 and second nowadays, did not ratify it. Major developing emitters are not bound by any GHG emissions reduction commitment under the Protocol. The first commitment period will expire at the end of 2012. For effectiveness reasons, the “post-2012” system must include the United States and major developing emitters, and drastically reinforce the reduction targets. One cannot help but notice that the post-2012 regime is still in the process of, and far from, being drafted. The adoption of the Copenhagen Accord (2009) did not stop the negotiation process, which is still going on. The Cancún conference (2010), although much less the focus of media attention, led to the adoption of a “Copenhagen Accord-Plus,” revived a process that had almost come to a standstill, and made the content of the Copenhagen Accord integrate the heart of the UNFCCC. These evolutions give rise to many issues concerning the level of ambition, the nature and content of differentiation between parties, and the legal architecture of the whole regime.
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- The Drafting of the Future International Climate Regime: From the Copenhagen Accord to the Cancún Agreements
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- Chapter 12
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