From the Research Council of Norway
According to a group of Norwegian researchers, the prospects for achieving an effective international climate treaty are poor. The measures that are politically feasible are ineffective and the measures that would be effective are politically infeasible.
In the project “The nature, design and feasibility of robust climate agreements,” researchers from the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (Cicero) and Statistics Norway (SSB) posed the following question: What are the conditions for succeeding in achieving an international climate agreement that will substantially reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases?
The backdrop for the question is the extremely slow progress in the UN negotiations on a climate agreement. The world is actually further away from achieving an effective international climate agreement today than it was 15 years ago, when the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. Little basis for optimism exists.
Three conditions must be met
Professor Jon Hovi headed the project at Cicero in Oslo. The project was funded by the Research Council of Norway and was concluded in 2013.
Professor Hovi identifies three prerequisites for a robust international climate agreement:
- It must encompass all key countries, i.e., all major emitters of greenhouse gases.
- It must require each member country to cut its emissions substantially.
- The member countries must comply with their commitments.
But even with a robust system of this type in place, a number of practical problems would arise, admits Professor Hovi. And even if these problems could be solved or if compliance could somehow be enforced without such practical problems, there is little chance that such measures would be adopted.
Why? Because strict enforcement of a climate agreement is not politically feasible, according to the Norwegian researchers.