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Governing complexity: How can the interplay of multilateral environmental agreements be harnessed for effective international market-based climate policy instruments?

  • Stephan HochEmail author
  • Axel Michaelowa
  • Aglaja Espelage
  • Anne-Kathrin Weber
Original Paper

Abstract

Major new multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) have entered into force in 2016, including the Paris Agreement (PA) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, the Kigali Amendment (KA) to the Montreal Protocol with a phase-down schedule for HFC production and use in all countries as well as the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) under the International Civil Aviation Organization, an offset mechanism for GHG emissions. Regarding climate change mitigation, these MEAs are implicitly and explicitly linked to each other. However, the interaction effects between them have not yet been studied. We apply document analysis to assess the following question: how does the MEA interplay impact the scope and effectiveness of international market-based climate policy instruments defined in Article 6 of the PA (Paris Mechanisms) regarding NDC achievement? The Paris Mechanisms can generate early reductions in HFCs that lower the KA baseline and thus the entire phase-down schedule, thereby generating long-term GHG mitigation. Reduction in HFC-23—a large, controversial source of carbon credits under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)—is now mandated through the KA and thus no longer available for international market mechanisms. If it accepts CDM credits predating 2020, CORSIA will not generate demand for emission units generated by the Article 6 mechanisms and thus not impact their effectiveness. Otherwise, CORSIA demand for Article 6 credits enhances effectiveness, provided that ‘double counting’ of credits is prevented through corresponding adjustments.

Keywords

Interplay Climate change mitigation Paris Agreement Kigali Amendment CORSIA Market mechanisms 

Abbreviations

Art.

Article

CA

Cooperative Approach

CBD

Convention on Biological Diversity

CBDR

Common but Differentiated Responsibilities

CDM

Clean Development Mechanism

CDM EB

Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board

CFC

Chlorofluorocarbon

CO2e

Carbon dioxide equivalent

CORSIA

Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

EU

European Union

EU ETS

European Union Emissions Trading System

GCF

Green Climate Fund

GEF

Global Environment Facility

GHG

Greenhouse gas

GWP

Global warming potential

HCFC

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons

HFC

Hydrofluorocarbon

ICAO

International Civil Aviation Organization

IGSD

Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development

IISD

International Institute for Sustainable Development

IPCC

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

KA

Kigali Amendment

KP

Kyoto Protocol

MEA

Multilateral Environmental Agreement

MP

Montreal Protocol

MP Fund

Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol

MRV

Monitoring, reporting and verification

NDC

Nationally determined contribution

NODS

Non-ozone-depleting substance

ODP

Ozone-depleting potential

ODS

Ozone-depleting substance

PA

Paris Agreement

PUF

Poly urethane foam

RACF

Refrigeration, air-conditioning and foam

SARP

Standards and Recommended Practice

SDM

Sustainable Development Mechanism

TABEK

Transformative Ambitionssteigerung – Der Beitrag effektiver Klimapolitikinstrumente

TRIPS

Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights

UN

United Nations

UNEP

United Nations Environment Programme

UNEP DTU

United Nations Environment Programme Danish Technical University

UNFCCC

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

USD

United States Dollar

VC

Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer

WMO

World Meteorological Organization

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the German Ministry of Education and Research for funding the project ‘Transformative Ambitionssteigerung – Der Beitrag effektiver Klimapolitikinstrumente (TABEK)’ (01LS1621A) in whose context this article has been written.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Perspectives Climate ResearchFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  3. 3.University of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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