Post-2012 Climate Agreement: Australia's Schedules Model Policy Brief

Dec 04, 2009 - 9:00am

Behind  the headlines about emission  targets and  finance  for developing countries, a profound discussion on  the  “legal  form” of  the post-2012 climate change agreement  is occurring. At  the Copenhagen  climate  summit  this  issue  may  emerge  as  a  major  point  of  conflict  between nations as  it  cuts  to  the heart of what  countries will  be  legally  bound  to do under any  future agreement. 

Australia  has  been  particularly  active  in  these  discussions  and  has  proposed  a model  for  a legally binding treaty. The central feature of Australia’s model is the proposal that the post-2012 agreement  include  a  binding  ‘national  schedule’  for  each  member  country. Each  country’s schedule would contain a specific set of binding and non-binding commitments and actions  to reduce emissions.  

This policy brief provides a detailed critique of Australia's proposal, outlining some potential strengths and possible risks.

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