After Doha: What Has Climate Change Policy Accomplished?

Campbell, David
March 2013
Journal of Environmental Law;Mar2013, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p125
Academic Journal
At the end of the Doha Climate Change Conference and of the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, it is incontrovertible that 20 years of international climate change policy has failed to secure a reduction in global emissions. Bringing up to date an argument first made in 2007, this note explains this failure as a result of the legal position established by those negotiations. Contrary to general belief, it is not the case that no legally binding agreement over emissions has been established. One has been established, but it has been to grant to the major industrialising countries a permission to emit as much as they wish. The emissions of these countries have never been capped, and the operation of the Clean Development Mechanism, which, by the nature of its design, logically cannot prevent a growth of emissions, has been a failure. The increase of major industrialising countries’ emissions has made the policy of mitigating growth of global emissions impossible from the start and makes it impossible now.


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