Differentiation in the Post-2012 Climate Regime

Differentiation in the Post-2012 Climate Regime

Policy Quarterly, 25 November 2008

Since the dawn of the intergovernmental dialogue on climate change, countries have bickered over who should take responsibility, in what measure and under what conditions to avert climate change. At the heart of these questions in the ongoing negotiations on the post-2012 climate regime is the notion of “differentiation.” The Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1992 (FCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, 1997, differentiate between developing and industrialized countries, and assign a leadership role in mitigation to industrialized countries. Should the post-2012 climate regime differentiate between developing countries, based on “objective criterion,” in determining who, amongst them, should take greater responsibility, perhaps even akin to the responsibility that industrialized countries have currently assumed?