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Balance of Incentives: Why North Korea Interacts with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

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This study is concerned with motivations driving North Korea's interaction with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, drawing on information from treaty-reporting documents, along with project reports compiled by international agencies and official statements released by the North Korean government. The article draws on causal inference to explore the hypothesis that the leadership perpetuation and state survival imperatives of the North Korean government represent the most likely explanation for North Korea's interaction with the international climate change regime. It finds a strong probability that North Korea is utilizing the UNFCCC as a capacity-building vehicle across its agricultural and energy sectors, a weak possibility that North Korea's climate change vulnerability is a compelling incentive for greenhouse gas mitigation, and a weak possibility that North Korea is using the Clean Development Mechanism under the UNFCCC as a means for generating foreign currency revenue. The paper argues that the balance of incentives underpinning these motivations can be linked to the leadership perpetuation and state survival imperatives of the North Korean government.
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Keywords: CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM; CLIMATE CHANGE; NORTH KOREA; UNFCCC; VULNERABILITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2015

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UA-1313315-28
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