Sectoral approaches for a post-2012 climate regime: a taxonomy

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					652 Meckling and Chung




■ synthesis article


Sectoral approaches for a post-2012 climate regime:
a taxonomy
JONAS O. MECKLING1*, GU YOON CHUNG2

1
    Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
2
    Enel North America, 816 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006, USA



Sectoral approaches have been gaining currency in the international climate debate as a possible remedy to
the shortfalls of the Kyoto Protocol. Proponents argue that a sector-based architecture can more easily invite
the participation of developing countries, address competitiveness issues, and enable immediate emissions
reductions. However, given the numerous proposals, much confusion remains as to what sectoral approaches actually
are. This article provides a simple, yet comprehensive, taxonomy of the various proposals for sectoral approaches.
Based on the dual criteria of content and actors, three such types are identified and described: government targets
and timetables; industry targets and timetables; and transnational technology cooperation. For each of these types,
existing proposals and ongoing initiatives are discussed. In a second step, the article analyses the political landscape in
which sectoral approaches are being debated, identifying the interests of their key advocates as well as the concerns of
their critics. The Japanese government and energy-intensive manufacturing industries represent the main proponents of
sectoral approaches to address the problems of carbon leakage and economic competitiveness. Developing countries,
on the other hand, are wary of attempts to impose emissions reduction targets on their economies through sectoral
target-setting. They, therefore, interpret sectoral approaches as sector-based forms of technology cooperation and
technology transfer.
Keywords: carbon leakage; climate policy frameworks; competitiveness; developing countries; Kyoto Protocol; North–South;
post-2012; sectoral approach; technology transfer

Les approches sectorielles gagnent en faveur dans le débat climatique international en tant que remèdes possibles aux
défaillances du protocole de Kyoto. Les instigateurs soutiennent qu’une architecture sectorielle peut plus facilement
encourager la participation des pays en développement, aborder les questions liées à la compétitivité, et faciliter des
réductions d’émission immédiates. Cependant, vu les nombreuses propositions, il y a encore beaucoup de doute sur
ce que sont en réalité les approches sectorielles. Ce papier propose une taxonomie simple néanmoins globale des
différentes propositions d’approches sectorielles. Selon le double critère de contenu et instigateurs, trois de ces
catégories sont identifiées et décrites : objectifs et calendriers gouvernementaux, objectifs et calendriers industriels, et
coopération technologique transnationale. Pour chacune de ces catégories, les propositions actuelles et les initiatives
en cours sont analysées. Dans une seconde étape, le papier examine le contexte politique dans lequel les approches
sectorielles seraient discutées, identifiant les intérêts des défenseurs principaux ainsi que les préoccupations des
sceptiques. Le gouvernement japonais et les industries de production à forte consommation d’énergie représentent les
partisans principaux de l’approche sectorielle conçue pour aborder les préoccupations sur les fuites de carbone et la
compétitivité économique. Les pays en développement, par contre, se méfient des tentatives d’imposition d’objectifs de
réductions d’émission sur leurs économies par la mise en place d’objectifs sectoriels. De ce fait ceux-ci interprètent
« approches sectorielles » en tant que coopération technologique et transfert de technologies propres aux secteurs.
Mots clés: approche sectorielle; cadres de politique climatique; compétitivité; fuites de carbone; Nord–Sud;
pays en développement; post-2012; protocole de Kyoto; transfert de t
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Sectoral approaches have been gaining currency in the international climate debate as a possible remedy to the shortfalls of the Kyoto Protocol. Proponents argue that a sector-based architecture can more easily invite the participation of developing countries, address competitiveness issues, and enable immediate emissions reductions. However, given the numerous proposals, much confusion remains as to what sectoral approaches actually are. This article provides a simple, yet comprehensive, taxonomy of the various proposals for sectoral approaches. Based on the dual criteria of content and actors, three such types are identified and described: government targets and timetables; industry targets and timetables; and transnational technology cooperation. For each of these types, existing proposals and ongoing initiatives are discussed. In a second step, the article analyses the political landscape in which sectoral approaches are being debated, identifying the interests of their key advocates as well as the concerns of their critics. The Japanese government and energy-intensive manufacturing industries represent the main proponents of sectoral approaches to address the problems of carbon leakage and economic competitiveness. Developing countries, on the other hand, are wary of attempts to impose emissions reduction targets on their economies through sectoral target-setting. They, therefore, interpret sectoral approaches as sector-based forms of technology cooperation and technology transfer. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
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