3 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 295 (1996)
Professor Heller's article discusses why there has been little
progress after the Rio Earth Summit in developing the Framework
Convention on Climate Change. He argues that, beyond the scientific
uncertainties about climate change and its economic impacts,
agreement on the legal structure of a comprehensive regime has been
hampered by institutional factors. These include: the political
discounting of damage to future populations, the diverse risks of
global warming in different regions, and the distrust in many nations
with market instruments, like taxes or tradable permits, that are
favored by many industrial nations dependent on fossil fuels.
Resolving these problems will be particularly difficult in multilateral
negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations. This is due to
the conflation of environmental issues with a broader, contested
agenda of North-South issues. Unless this impasse is overcome in the
near term, key nations, essential to a successful mitigation regime,
may abandon collective solutions and invest in local adaptations to
climate change. Heller argues that Joint Implementation (JI), a type
of tradable permit system, can help to break this deadlock. However,
investment in JIprojects has been slow due to political opposition and
to confusion about the nature of an international market in
environmental services. The article concludes with an outline for the
development of a JI market that does not require a prior multilateral
Heller, Thomas C.
"Environmental Realpolitik: Joint Implementation and Climate Change,"
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies:
2, Article 1.
Available at: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/ijgls/vol3/iss2/1