Strengthening bottom-up and top-down climate governance

Climate Policy 3 (13):363-383 (2013)
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Abstract

Although the UN and EU focus their climate policies on the prevention of a 2 8C global mean temperature rise, it has been estimated that a rise of at least 4 8C is more likely. Given the political climate of inaction, there is a need to instigate a bottom-up approach so as to build domestic support for future climate treaties, empower citizens, and motivate leaders to take action. A review is provided of the predominant top-down cap-and-trade policies in place – the Kyoto Protocol and EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) – with a focus on the grandfathering of emissions entitlements and the possibility of offsetting emissions. These policies are evaluated according to two criteria of justice and it is concluded that they fail to satisfy them. Some suggestions as to how the EU ETS can be improved so as to enable robust climate action are also offered.

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Author Profiles

Wouter Peeters
University of Birmingham
Sigrid Sterckx
University of Ghent

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