HSS – Trading system is key to tackling climate change, not environmental deals, new book says


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Current climate change agreements would be ineffective because inapplicable

Climate clubs for a sustainable future: the role of international trade, Prof. Rafael Leal-Arcas, argues that using existing trading systems is far more effective than initiatives like the Paris Agreement when it comes to tackling climate change.

Research shows that current climate change agreements are ineffective because they are unenforceable. The book explains why a business approach to climate change will have more impact since it is enforceable.

Passage of responsibility to enforceability

According to the research, current discussions and agreements on climate change, including the Kyoto Protocol, have emphasized the “responsibility” that has divided developed and developing countries, but has also been unenforceable.

A trade deal approach will shift attention to other factors that the Kyoto Protocol failed to take into account, including power, diplomatically, politically and economically. According to the book, such an approach would mean that there is an incentive to work together to tackle climate change.

Great opportunity for equality

Professor Rafael Leal-Arcas, Professor of European and International Economic Law and Jean Monnet Professor of EU International Economic Law at Queen Mary said: “We know science, we know the economy, we know climate change laws, but we don’t know how countries will cooperate on climate change mitigation when agreements aren’t binding. This approach will force equally powerful nations to enter into mutually binding agreements, rather than economically weaker countries to enter into potentially unbalanced deals with economic giants. ”

According to the research findings, there is also potential for greater equality between developed and developing countries. Under the proposed system, countries which, both now and in the past, have barely contributed to global emissions may be able to request an exemption from certain emission reduction standards. Nicknamed by Professor Leal-Arcas as “environmental justice”.

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