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Summary Report No. 107

Climate Policy in the Coming Phases of the Kyoto Process:Targets, Instruments, and the Role of Cap and Trade Schemes - Proceedings of the International Symposium, February 20-21, 2006, Brussels
M. Welp, L. Wicke, C. C. Jaeger (eds.) (July 2007)

Over the past months and years, international climate policy has made significant progress despite huge resistances. But we are still far away from the turnaround in global greenhouse gas emissions that will be necessary to avoid dangerous climate change. There is broad agreement among climate scientists that the first Kyoto period cannot lead to major reductions of global emissions. The second commitment period may bring about improvements in this respect, depending on how serious nations are about climate protection. This raises the question of how to link whatever steps will be possible in the coming years to the prospect of a real turnaround in global emissions in the coming decades.
The Symposium, “Climate Policy in the Coming Phases of the Kyoto Process”, that took place on February 20-21, 2006 in Brussels brought together stakeholders from a broad range of institutions including research institutes, major energy providers, policy-makers on national and the EU level, including developing countries as well as representatives of NGOs (the full list of stakeholders can be found in Annex 2). The aim of the symposium was to identify options open to the international community to avoid dangerous climate change, as the legally binding goal of the UNFCCC is defined. These options ranged from incremental improvements of the commitment undertaken with the Kyoto protocol to a structural evolution of the current climate policy regime. At COP11 in Montreal parties agreed on a second commitment period. In Nairobi at COP12 some progress was made but how the mechanisms in the second commitment period will look like lies at the core of current international climate negotiations. In parallel many other activities, including, different variants of global cap and trade systems have been proposed, such as the Statement of the G8 Climate Change Roundtable convened by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the UK government.
On the basis of multiple criteria developed in the scientific literature, the participants of the symposium discussed pros and cons of key options. These were looked at them from the point of view of climate protection potential, economic feasibility, and legal-administrative feasibility. Furthermore, stakeholder perspectives and different interests were identified – including those of nations, supranational institutions, business sectors, NGOs, and other constituencies. This exercise provided insights of the extent to which different strategies can be expected to avoid dangerous climate change without jeopardizing economic and social concerns or failing for legal-administrative reasons.
The following papers are based on the presentations either at the plenary sessions or the parallel break-out groups of the symposium. The full program of the event can be found in Annex 1.
The symposium was conducted as a joint effort of the Environmental Ministry of Baden-Württemberg, the European Climate Forum, the Institute for Environmental Management at the European School of Management (Berlin), and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The event built on past stakeholder dialogues and events organised by PIK with various partners. The mission of PIK, its research focus and structure have constituted a suitable environment within which science-based stakeholder dialogues have found a natural place. The stakeholders involved in PIK’s stakeholder activities have been diverse, ranging from interested individuals to international corporations. The group of people involved in this symposium represented a variety of organisations and viewpoints as well, thus triggering lively debates on long term policy options.
This is exactly the objective of PIK’s active stakeholder approach, to bring together different views and exchange arguments on controversial issues related to climate change. We would like to thank all speakers, convenors and participants for the active support in making the event successful.

 

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