Egenhofer, Christian and Cornillie, Jan. (2001) Reinventing the Climate Negotiations: An Analysis of COP6. CEPS Policy Brief No. 1, March 2001. [Policy Paper]
[From the Introduction]. With the cancellation of the Oslo ministerial mini-summit, the prospects for an early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol are rapidly fading. Even if the US agrees to an outcome at a resumed COPbis in July, continued Congressional opposition and unresolved questions concerning the developing countries’ commitments make US ratification highly implausible. This puts the European Union on the spot. The EU has declared on several occasions that if the Kyoto Protocol failed to be ratified by the requisite number of Parties, it would demonstrate its leadership by undertaking a unilateral reduction commitment. Has the EU’s hour of glory finally come? Or is it bluffing? The answer lies in whether the EU is actually able to summon up the courage of its convictions and takes the decision to ratify the Protocol unilaterally. Given the current deadlock, this may be the only way to implement the Kyoto Protocol. Moreover, it may not merely be the only way, but it may also have the effect of speeding up ratification. And speed is now of the utmost importance. The urgent reality of climate change has just been confirmed by the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report. Further delays to implementation will also increase compliance costs.
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