Research Project at the Centre
Cooperating for the Climate: States’ Positions on Burden Sharing of Climate Change Mitigation and Finance
In the negotiations towards a post-2020 international climate agreement, a crucial area of debate entailed how to share the burden of climate change mitigation and of the financing of climate-related policies and measures across states. Traditionally, mitigation and financing have been considered exclusively as obligations of the developed countries. The developing countries were exempted in recognition of their need to grow and overcome poverty, and of their low historical responsibility towards climate change. This strict separation of responsibilities has been maintained until quite recently. The recent negotiations for a post-2020 agreement "under the Convention applicable to all Parties" were regarded by many as an opportunity to open up the differentiation of responsibilities and to reach an agreement in which all states contribute to mitigation – and maybe even financing.
In this project, I intend to analyse the factors that influenced states’ negotiation positions on whether and how to overcome the distinction between developed and developing countries in the climate regime. Beyond the traditional dimensions of national-level and international-level political interests, I seek to find out whether different conceptualisations of fairness influenced these positions. For this purpose, I will perform content analysis of two types of negotiation documents: (i) written negotiation submissions by parties to the Climate Convention in the period 2012-2015, and (ii) parties’ Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, which describe their own proposed contribution to climate change mitigation after 2020. The content analysis will result on the creation of a typology of the fairness principles used by states to justify their negotiation positions, and on variables indicating states’ negotiation positions regarding burden sharing of mitigation and finance, and states’ own proposed contributions. The data will be analysed by applying suitable statistical or qualitative analysis methodologies.