Common environment, differentiated duties? European Union, China and Kyotos mechanisms towards an equitable distribution of ecological space

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Bacchetta, Emanuela
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This study examines the principles relying on global warming and climate change policy. Through an analysis of a wide-ranging set of governmental, legal, historical, and academic research documents, this piece of work examines the need to find an equitable solution, in order to avoid highly consequential impacts on the life of human beings. Climate change is a matter of social justice requiring urgent and integrated approaches, based on respect for and promotion of human rights. It argues that only tackling the problem through Kyoto‘s mechanisms, based on ―common but differentiated responsibility‖ (CDR), is not efficient, nor even ―fair‖. That is why specific attention has to be paid to specific sensitive issues and questions, particularly: what should a post-Kyoto climate treaty look like? Should developing countries, such as China, accept binding emissions targets? May we retain that the new proposed global framework of ‗contraction and convergence‘- which consists of reducing greenhouse gases to a safe emission level (contraction), while calculating their global amount on a per capita basis, to a level which is equal for all countries- constitutes the fairest basis for a climate treaty?, and, if yes, why is it a concurrent model to Kyoto? In order to attain both effectiveness as well as non-disparity within the outcome, it will become clear throughout this paper that governments must coordinate their efforts with a strategic partnership, and a long-term view, prospected towards an equalization of emission entitlements on the basis that the ecological space belongs to every human being.
Second semester University: Université Libre de Bruxelles
climatic changes, environmental policy, China, European Union, human ecology