Top-down Proposals for Sharing the Global Climate Policy Effort Fairly: Lost in Translation in a Bottom-up World?

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

    Abstract

    A range of scholars and policy advocates have proposed formulaic (or 'top-down') approaches for calculating countries' fair shares of the global effort to mitigate climate change. The practical relevance of top-down proposals has become increasingly uncertain as climate change negotiations since the 2009 Copenhagen Accord have adopted a 'bottom-up' or 'pledge-and-review' approach that allows states considerable latitude in how they frame their pledges. With many commentators expecting that the post-2020 climate change agreement currently under negotiation will adopt a largely bottom-up approach, a major concern is whether and how an approach of this kind is compatible with securing equity and integrity in the climate regime. In this chapter I argue that a more nuanced perspective on the top-down/bottom-up debate is required. I proceed by endorsing the commonly held view that top-down proposals typically prioritise distributive equity over institutional feasibility, whereas the converse holds for bottom-up proposals. However, I argue that a more comprehensive evaluation of proposals for sharing national efforts also needs to take account of their procedural equity. Top-down proposals frequently provide less clarity than bottom-up proposals on how procedural equity could be assured. Accordingly, a hybrid approach combining elements of top-down and bottom-up proposals may be better suited to advancing both substantive and procedural values simultaneously. In the latter part of the chapter I argue that, even if top-down proposals are not formally adopted in a multilateral climate agreement, they may nevertheless exert an important positive influence on the equity and integrity of the climate regime. I distinguish three ways in which top-down proposals could boost accountability and deliberative quality: as input into multilateral assessment of national pledges; as an anchor point for civil society campaigns; and as guidance for national policy-makers
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEthical Values and the Integrity of the Climate Change Regime
    EditorsHugh Breakey, Vesselin Popovski, Rowena Maguire
    Place of PublicationAldershot, United Kingdom
    PublisherRoutledge
    Pages89-104
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315580302
    ISBN (Print)9781472469595
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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    climate policy
    equity
    climate change
    climate
    integrity
    civil society
    campaign
    responsibility
    evaluation
    Values

    Cite this

    Pickering, J. (2015). Top-down Proposals for Sharing the Global Climate Policy Effort Fairly: Lost in Translation in a Bottom-up World? In H. Breakey, V. Popovski, & R. Maguire (Eds.), Ethical Values and the Integrity of the Climate Change Regime (pp. 89-104). Aldershot, United Kingdom: Routledge.
    Pickering, Jonathan. / Top-down Proposals for Sharing the Global Climate Policy Effort Fairly: Lost in Translation in a Bottom-up World?. Ethical Values and the Integrity of the Climate Change Regime. editor / Hugh Breakey ; Vesselin Popovski ; Rowena Maguire. Aldershot, United Kingdom : Routledge, 2015. pp. 89-104
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    abstract = "A range of scholars and policy advocates have proposed formulaic (or 'top-down') approaches for calculating countries' fair shares of the global effort to mitigate climate change. The practical relevance of top-down proposals has become increasingly uncertain as climate change negotiations since the 2009 Copenhagen Accord have adopted a 'bottom-up' or 'pledge-and-review' approach that allows states considerable latitude in how they frame their pledges. With many commentators expecting that the post-2020 climate change agreement currently under negotiation will adopt a largely bottom-up approach, a major concern is whether and how an approach of this kind is compatible with securing equity and integrity in the climate regime. In this chapter I argue that a more nuanced perspective on the top-down/bottom-up debate is required. I proceed by endorsing the commonly held view that top-down proposals typically prioritise distributive equity over institutional feasibility, whereas the converse holds for bottom-up proposals. However, I argue that a more comprehensive evaluation of proposals for sharing national efforts also needs to take account of their procedural equity. Top-down proposals frequently provide less clarity than bottom-up proposals on how procedural equity could be assured. Accordingly, a hybrid approach combining elements of top-down and bottom-up proposals may be better suited to advancing both substantive and procedural values simultaneously. In the latter part of the chapter I argue that, even if top-down proposals are not formally adopted in a multilateral climate agreement, they may nevertheless exert an important positive influence on the equity and integrity of the climate regime. I distinguish three ways in which top-down proposals could boost accountability and deliberative quality: as input into multilateral assessment of national pledges; as an anchor point for civil society campaigns; and as guidance for national policy-makers",
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    Pickering, J 2015, Top-down Proposals for Sharing the Global Climate Policy Effort Fairly: Lost in Translation in a Bottom-up World? in H Breakey, V Popovski & R Maguire (eds), Ethical Values and the Integrity of the Climate Change Regime. Routledge, Aldershot, United Kingdom, pp. 89-104.

    Top-down Proposals for Sharing the Global Climate Policy Effort Fairly: Lost in Translation in a Bottom-up World? / Pickering, Jonathan.

    Ethical Values and the Integrity of the Climate Change Regime. ed. / Hugh Breakey; Vesselin Popovski; Rowena Maguire. Aldershot, United Kingdom : Routledge, 2015. p. 89-104.

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

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    Pickering J. Top-down Proposals for Sharing the Global Climate Policy Effort Fairly: Lost in Translation in a Bottom-up World? In Breakey H, Popovski V, Maguire R, editors, Ethical Values and the Integrity of the Climate Change Regime. Aldershot, United Kingdom: Routledge. 2015. p. 89-104