Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group Ltd

Burden-sharing and global climate negotiations: the case of the Kyoto Protocol

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International climate agreements are important examples of internationally negotiated distributive politics and the resulting obligations vary considerably across countries. Nevertheless, few studies have empirically examined the determinants of burden sharing in this context. The allocation of emission reductions in the Kyoto protocol is investigated in relation to the different arguments advanced during the Kyoto negotiations. Regression-based evidence suggests that countries were compensated for early action and that affluent countries, states with high GHG emissions, countries with a high projected growth rate as well as potential EU member states undertook to meet the strictest targets. These findings demonstrate that the context in which negotiations are undertaken influences the obligations that countries are willing to accept and they indicate that there may be a potential for reaching a burden sharing agreement even in the context of financial crisis.

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