From Marrakesh to Glasgow: Looking Backward to Move Forward on Emissions Trading

In: Climate Law
Lisa Benjamin Lewis & Clark Law School, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR, United States,

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David A. Wirth Boston College Law School, Boston College, Newton, MA, United States,

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The Paris Rulebook—nearly complete, but with the ‘markets’ text tied to Article 6 of the Paris Agreement unadopted after nearly three years—invites comparison with a similar effort under the Kyoto Protocol: the Marrakesh Accords. This article compares the Paris Rulebook and the 2001 Marrakesh Accords implementing the Kyoto Protocol as a way of exploring the similarities and differences in regulatory design between the two sub-regimes and their implications for sustainability and climate integrity. An in-depth analysis of the negotiating history and the text of the two instruments yields trenchant and perhaps unexpected conclusions. Issues that plagued the Marrakesh Accords also appear in similar form in the Paris Rulebook discussions around Article 6; however, because of the difference in structure between the two treaties, even more complex issues have arisen in the Rulebook negotiations. The article reflects on the fundamentally different purpose of the ‘markets’ text in the Rulebook in comparison with its Kyoto/Marrakesh precursor, as well as on the implications of those differences for the Article 6 negotiations.

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