Analyses | 14 February 2005

Sensible climate policy

In Sensible climate policy Professor Warwick McKibbin criticises the Kyoto Protocol that had just entered into force in February 2005. He predicts that the policy would not succeed in reducing emissions and argued that it was a mistake to continue to follow the ‘targets and timetables’ approach of the Kyoto Protocol where countries attempt to negotiate a legally binding international agreement.

 

  • Warwick McKibbin

In Sensible climate policy Professor Warwick McKibbin criticises the Kyoto Protocol that had just entered into force in February 2005. He predicts that the policy would not succeed in reducing emissions and argued that it was a mistake to continue to follow the ‘targets and timetables’ approach of the Kyoto Protocol where countries attempt to negotiate a legally binding international agreement.

 

  • Warwick McKibbin
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Key Findings

  • Uncertainty should be the key to designing sensible climate policy.
  • Kyoto Protocol is the wrong approach because it is based on targets and timetables for emission reduction when the world is uncertain, so costs are unbounded and countries will not ultimately stick to their targets.
  • National policies based on abatement and adaptation coordinated internationally is the way forward.

Executive Summary

The author also proposes the alternative approach of national actions based around an international framework for assessing emission reduction policy. Critically, it is the latter approach which has now emerged from the Copenhagen Accord in 2010 and further in Durbin in 2011.