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A Regulatory Analysis of International Climate Change Regulation

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The political challenges impeding the negotiation of a comprehensive multilateral agreement on international climate change have received a great deal of attention. A question that has gone somewhat overlooked is what essential components an effective regulatory scheme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should contain. The objective of this article is to examine the regulatory architecture of current international arrangements relating to global climate change regulation. A systematic analysis of the structure, substantive composition, and administrative characteristics of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol is undertaken. The analytical standard against which the agreements are examined is whether current international regulatory arrangements satisfy the basic requirements of regulatory coherence. The analysis identifies how the present scheme consists of a complex institutional structure that lacks a substantive regulatory core. The implications of the absence of functional and effective mechanisms to govern greenhouse gas emission reductions are considered in relation to the principles of good regulatory design. This, in turn, provides useful insights into how a better regulatory scheme might be designed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Accounting and Law, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 2: Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Publication date: 2008-10-01

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