Sunday, November 20, 2005

Post-2012 Climate Policy - Assessing the Options

A new report by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, ECN and Wageningen University contributes a review of 45 publications on climate policy post-2012, and provides an excellent framework to interpret and understand such proposals.

Uncertainty reigns

The report defines 4 broad policy objectives that climate policy should deliver, or contribute to, and assesses how each of the 45 proposals is likely to meet these. It shows that it is uncertain for the majority of proposals to deliver a safe climate, growth and competitiveness or energy security.

Policy dilemma's

The authors define 5 dilemma's confronting policy makers:
  1. Carrots or sticks: incentives or constraints?
  2. Front door or back door: should climate policy or other policies deliver climate change mitigation?
  3. Markets or regulation: use market-based policy instruments and to what extent?
  4. Team player or John Wayne: multilateral or unilateral action?
  5. Adapt or mitigate

From 'or' to 'and'

Above 5 dilemma's are not 'or' choices. The authors plead for mechanisms to combine above 5 apparent dichotomies.

It is a sobering thought that none of the 45 proposals adequately addresses the 4 above policy objectives. Maybe it is time to stop treating climate policy as a special case, and to start integrating it more firmly within economic, social and environmental policies.

View report

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