Un article [en anglais] consacré, à quelques jours de l'ouverture de la COP17 à Durban (Afrique du Sud), à la forme juridique d'un futur régime climatique, dans un contexte marqué par la fin prochaine (fin 2012) de la première période d'engagement du protocole de Kyoto.
Points clés [en anglais] :
WHY LEGALLY BINDING REGIMES ARE IMPORTANT
Legally binding regimes represent the highest level of commitment by governments. They provide the strongest assurances of global cooperation and the greatest certainty to private actors. They can also shift countries’ perceived interests and strengthen their actions. And by anchoring interactions in stronger normative frameworks, they provide more effective scientific benchmarks for action.
THE NEED FOR A STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS
A reasonably large and diverse group of countries supports the negotiation of a legally binding agreement to cover all major emitters. However, there is currently a lack of understanding among countries regarding the pathway to get there, and the exact meaning of legally binding: who will be bound, and to what? Therefore, a step-by-step process is necessary to bring countries’ expectations closer together, while affirming up front the intention to negotiate a legally binding agreement.
A TRANSITIONAL COMMITMENT PERIOD
This process should be composed of a transitional commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, and a precise and ambitious mandate to negotiate a new, comprehensive legally binding agreement. The Protocol can play an important role to signal that developed countries remain committed to a rules and equity-based agreement; it is also important to preserve the best institutional aspects of the Kyoto Protocol. The exact legal nature and content of the transitional commitment period will be related to the precision and ambition of the mandate for a new negotiation process.
DIFFERENTIATED COMMITMENTS AND ACTIONS
Regarding the future agreement, there are a number of legal avenues to capture a spectrum of commitments and actions from developed and developing countries respectively. These could include mandatory commitments for developed countries; mandatory nationally appropriate policy packages towards their emissions objectives for developing countries; differentiated mechanisms of implementation, evolving over time; and long-term low-carbon development strategies for developed countries to create a stronger international normative context for their commitments.