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The ambitions in Copenhagen Pledges: Country case studies of drivers and barriers

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The climate pledges under the Copenhagen Accord have been evaluated by researchers in quantitative terms, but less attention has been provided on insights into what drove countries and what political barriers impeded countries to submit a pledge and the ambitiousness of the pledges. This article therefore highlights what the drivers and barriers are under the Copenhagen Accord and assesses whether the political considerations can be expected to differ from the positions under a binding climate regime under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. By means of case studies the research finds that the political origin differs and in general views that the Accord is viewed as adding to transparency and legitimacy of the negotiations. Moreover, while the pledges can be viewed as a separate regime, it should be complemented by emissions trading to spur increased ambition. The research also identifies that the pledges are commonly viewed as binding and that barriers are increasingly viewed as drivers seeing that costs of climate action is viewed as lower than inaction.
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Keywords: Copenhagen accords; Pledges; UNFCCC; ambition; barriers; drivers

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, P.O. Box 210 60, Stockholm, 100 31, Sweden

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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