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Back to Kyoto? US participation and the linkage between R&D and climate cooperation

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The US decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and the subsequent outcomes of the Bonn and Marrakech Conferences of the Parties drastically reduce the effectiveness of the Kyoto Protocol in controlling GHG emissions. The reason is not only the reduced emission abatement in the US. Lower spillover effects on technology and an increase in Russia’s bargaining power were also induced by the US decision. It is therefore crucial to analyse whether an incentive strategy exists that could induce the US to revise its decision and comply with the Kyoto commitments. One solution, occasionally proposed in literature and in actual policymaking, is to link negotiations on climate change control with decisions concerning international R&D cooperation and technology transfers. This paper explores this idea by analysing on the one hand the incentives for the EU, Japan and Russia to adopt an “issue linkage” strategy, and on the other hand the incentives for the US to join a coalition cooperating both on climate change control and on technological innovation. The extended regime in which cooperation takes place on both dimensions (GHG emissions and R&D) will be examined from the view point of countries’ profitability and free-riding incentives. The effectiveness and credibility of the “issue linkage” strategy will thus be assessed.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/35845/

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