by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Trading Carbon : December - January 2011
S10 POST 2012 DANIEL BODANSKY OUTLINES SOME POSSIBLE SCENARIOS FOR THE POST-2012 CLIMATE CHANGE REGIME* states. The EU is willing, but only as part of a comprehensive framework including the US and China. The US is unwilling to accept a new legal agreement unless it includes new commitments of the same legal character by all of the world's major economies. China seems unwilling to accept any legal commitment to limit its emissions, no matter how differentiated. The gridlock can be relieved only if one or more parties back out of their current positions. What would it mean if the protocol did not impose any limits on countries' GHG emissions? Obviously, the absence of targets would deprive many protocol provisions of any effect. Most importantly, without targets, there would be no emission allowances or "Assigned Amount Units" (AAUs), apart from those units carried over from the first commitment period. Other protocol provisions, however, are not dependent on On December 31, 2012, the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period will expire. Unless countries agree to a second commitment period, requiring a further round of emissions cuts, the Protocol will no longer impose any quantitative limits on states' greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Although, as a legal matter, the Protocol will continue in force, it will be a largely empty shell, doing little if anything to curb global warming, This article analyses the options going forward for the Kyoto Protocol and the legal implications of a gap period before the adoption of a new legal regime to limit emissions. It also assesses the prospects for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and the relationship between the Kyoto talks and the emerging regime under the Cancun agreements. Although there are innumerable possible outcomes at the Durban Conference of the Parties in December and beyond, this section focuses on three scenarios. One represents the minimal outcome, a second represents a politically ambitious outcome, and a third represents an intermediate outcome. Scenario one: No agreement on a second Kyoto commitment period The business-as-usual scenario -- the most likely one for Durban and beyond -- is that the current negotiating dynamic will continue. Nothing will be agreed about a second commitment period by the end of 2012. The result will be a period of uncertain duration during which the UN climate regime will not impose any legally- binding limits on countries' GHG emissions. Instead, the only limitations would be the political commitments that states made in their Copenhagen/Cancun pledges. Why is this scenario likely? The biggest reason is that even those Kyoto parties that would, in principle, be willing to accept a second commitment period are reluctant to do so on their own, without reciprocal commitments by other W(h)ither the Kyoto Protocol? Durban and Beyond Dec 2011/Jan 2012 www.pointcarbon.com REUTERS/HENRY ROMERO