There is increasing evidence that the post-2012 international climate policy architecture will be more complex than the current commitment under the Kyoto Protocol. The European Union and its Member States need to adapt to a more complex and more diversified political framework for fighting climate change. The consequences of such a reframing of global climate policy for the European Union and its Member States, like Austria, have however been hardly investigated so far.
Any effective approach to combat climate change needs global effort. However countries like the United States, China and India, are for different reasons looking for structures other than the current Kyoto-type agreement, and the problem clearly cannot be solved without greater differentiation of developing country actions. Therefore, a post-2012 international climate framework could rather consist of a basket of differentiated commitments, ranging from unilateral national commitments to international agreements for specific sectors and Kyoto-type emission caps. Required are binding but flexible commitments both from all industrialised countries as well as the major emerging economies and developing countries.
ICPIA intends to deliver a contribution by analysing the following issues related to the implementation and effects of such a complex climate policy framework:
- Collecting comparable data sets for Annex-1 and Non-Annex-1 countries – as far as these data are avilable - and build a consistent global data base for assessing countries’ potentials and effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions by a set of model-based structural indicators.
- Exploring the sectoral and trade dimensions of diverse climate policy agreements by a detailed analysis of energy-intensive sectors such as steel, cement, paper and pulp, and electricity.
- Evaluating the regional dimensions of climate change agreements with particular attention to the future of Eastern Europe (including Russia, Ukraine and the "Stans") in a new climate regime.
- Analysing the institutional dimensions of differentiated carbon markets, fragmented (national) agreements and sectoral commitments. Discussing potential interactions of various policy instruments (e.g. climate policy and renewable energy regulations).
- Searching for an overall architecture of a post-2012 package that integrates multi-lateral and unilateral approaches and looks ahead to 2050.