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Is the Asia-Pacific Partnership a viable alternative to Kyoto?

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Abstract

The Kyoto Protocol has failed: horizontally because it failed to secure commitments from important players; vertically because of the lack of delivery of outcomes among those who did accede to it. The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate represents a useful way forward, both as a non-treaty agreement that contains a promising non-binding sectoral approach to minimizing emissions by seven parties accounting for more than half global emissions, and as an exercise in ‘minilateralism’ where understanding can develop among the key players. It has provided an important building block upon which to build other initiatives, such as the Major Economies Meeting of the US Bush administration and now the Major Economies Forum of the Obama administration. These arenas with 17 members offer opportunities not possible in full multilateral arenas such as Framework Convention on Climate Change, where sheer numbers simply slow processes and help produce lowest common denominator responses. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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