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FNI PUBLICATION SUMMARIES

Climate Change



Kokorin, Alexey and Anna Korppoo
Russia’s Greenhouse Gas Target 2020: Projections, Trends and Risks
Berlin, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 2014, 17 p.
> Download the report in English
> Download the report in Russian

In September 2013, Russia adopted a domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target that limits emissions to 75 per cent of the 1990 level by 2020. The structure and trends of the past and future national GHG emissions are analysed based on the recent lower growth assumption of the national economy. This makes the target achievable given that: technological emission reduction opportunities are used effectively; non-economic risks that can drive GHG emissions to exceed business-as-usual scenarios are eliminated; and the use of carbon instruments is accelerated.

Understanding the costs of climate change to the national economy could make expenditure on mitigation acceptable and thus facilitate establishing an ambitious post-2020 goal. The lack of information on these costs is the basic reason for Russia’s quiescence on climate mitigation. Any future international climate agreement will fail to change this without awareness of the risks of climate change for the Russian Federation; As a result, Russia is unlikely to proceed beyond the »economically viable« development path almost equivalent to its business-as-usual trajectory, which rejects the additional costs associated with emission reductions. This is more or less equivalent to the adopted domestic target, depending to some extent on which of the existing policies proves to be viable in practice.



Andresen, Steinar
'Exclusive Approaches to Climate Governance: More Effective than the UNFCCC?'
In Cherry, T.L., J. Hovi and D.M. McEvoy (eds), Toward a New Climate Agreement: Conflict, Resolution and Governance. London, Routledge, 2014, pp. 167-181.
> More information about the book here

The UN climate regime has proven ineffective in a problem-solving perspective. Therefore it is understandable that other and more exclusive approaches have been called for. However such forums have existed for quite some time already. This brief empirical examination of some of the most important alternative or supplemnentary international institutions demonstrate that they do not represent panacea for dealing more effectively with climate change. The malignancy of the issue is so severe that it cannot be removed by clever design alone. Still, in a learning perspective these institutions may have some influence by showing that more pragmaticicallt-oriented bottom-up sector approaches can be a supplementary avenue to the UNFCCC. Whether they will turn out to be more effective, remains to be seen. Also, this study indicates that these other forums still regard the UNFCCC as the most important and legitimate international institution to deal with climate change.



Wettestad, Jørgen and Torbjørg Jevnaker
'The EU's Quest for Linked Carbon Markets: Turbulence and Headwind'
In Cherry, T.L., J. Hovi and D.M. McEvoy (eds), Toward a New Climate Agreement: Conflict, Resolution and Governance. London, Routledge, 2014, pp. 266-279.
> More information about the book here

The Emissions Trading System (ETS) of the (EU) is the largest carbon trading market in the world, but climate change is a global challenge. In 2009, the EU announced its ambition of having linked carbon markets OECD-wide by 2015. This article assesses the EU’s progress in reaching this goal, inquires whether the explanatory factors lie within the EU itself or in the external environment, and discusses the main prospects for the future. Despite some progress, no interconnected emission trading system will cover the entire OECD area by 2015—so the EU is lagging behind in terms of achieving its own ambitions. Within the EU, member-state pressure for external linking has been modest, with Germany and the UK as notable exceptions. The European Commission has worked to establish links between the EU ETS and other systems, with only modest backing from other EU bodies. Globally, the development of emissions trading has progressed slowly. Furthermore, external interest in linking up with an increasingly crisis-ridden EU ETS has been variable, with, for instance, reluctant US actors and an eager Australian government. Experience thus far indicates that the bottom–up route to a global climate regime offered by linking is a long-term project—certainly not a “quick fix.



Skjærseth, Jon Birger
'EU Emissions Trading: Acievements, Challenges, Solutions'
In Cherry, T.L., J. Hovi and D.M. McEvoy (eds), Toward a New Climate Agreement: Conflict, Resolution and Governance. London, Routledge, 2014, pp. 254-264.
> More information about the book here

The EU ETS is a grand climate policy experiment—the first-ever international cap-and-trade system to target industry. The ultimate aim is to create a global carbon market by encouraging other major emitters, not least the USA and China, to follow suit. However, the economic recession that developed from 2008 and the resultant conflict with other energy policy instruments has put the EU ETS to the test. A significant supply–demand imbalance of allowances has accumulated, followed by a low carbon price. This chapter explores possible solutions for the EU, as well as presenting a brief analysis of the evolution and the achievements of the system.



Andresen, Steinar, Norichika Kanie and Peter M. Haas
'Actor Configurations in the Climate Regime: The States Call the Shots'
In Kanie, N., S. Andresen and P.M. Haas (eds), Improving Global Environmental Governance: Best Practices for Architecture and Agency. London/New York, Routledge, 2014, pp. 175-196.
> More information here

The role of various actors and actor combinations are discussed in the various stages set out in the introductory chapter of the book.In the agenda setting stage non-state actors as well as key indfividuals played a key role- However as these are mostly activists of various kinds they contributed to downplay the difficulty of the issue. The US played the key role in setting up the IPCC. When negotiations started most non-state actors were marginalized and the process was firmly in the control of the states. The North-South divide has been the most important reason for lacking progress, The compliance regime has also proved to be rather weak in practice. Both states and non-state actors in various combinations have played a role in implementing commitments. Altgough most key states have introduced a number of measures and non-state actors have also been active this has not been enough to stop the rising emissions. The main drivers in the development towards rising emisisons are economic growth, demography and general forces. Climate based measures initiated has not been enough to halt this development, Thibgs might have been different with non-state actors playing a more significant role but this has proved impossible in practice.



Skjærseth, Jon Birger, Guri Bang and Miranda Schreurs
'Explaining Growing Climate Policy Differences Between the European Union and the United States'
Global Environmental Politics, Vol 13, No 4, 2013, pp. 61-79.
> Purchase the original article here

Although there has been a strong rhetorical difference between the European Union (EU) and the United States on climate policy matters, it is really only since the mid- to late- 2000s that this difference has resulted in major differences in the range and depth of binding policies addressing climate change. Increased climate change concern in the United States in 2006–2008 created new opportunities for convergence, but failed to lead to policy change. We propose three explanations for the major differences in policy outcomes in the EU and the United States. First, distinctly different agenda-setting privileges among policy-makers in the EU and the United States caused diverse potentials for consultation and issue linkages on energy and climate policy. Second, while issue linkage helped overcome distributional obstacles in the EU, in contrast it led to more complexity and higher obstacles in the United States. Finally, legislative rules, procedures, and norms constrained the coalition-building efforts among lawmakers differently, leading to different negotiation processes and outcomes. Such differences in agenda-setting privileges, potential for issue linkage, and legislative procedures resulted in divergent climate policies in the EU and the United States that leave them wide apart in international climate negotiations.
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 Global environmental governance and law
 Climate change
 Law of the Sea and marine affairs
 Biodiversity and genetic resources
 Arctic and Russian politics
 European energy and environment
 Chinese energy and environment


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