Assistance and compliance facilitation will be the central response challenge

With regard to responses to cases of non-compliance, there is a clear trend in the three institutions toward facilitation, which takes place in a variety of ways. In the case of Slovenia's SO2 problems under the CLRTAP, other parties were asked to consider ways to assist Slovenia in achieving compliance, including through the provision of equipment. In the CEITs' difficulties under the ozone regime, the response has also been facilitative, mainly consisting of financial assistance from the GEF and groups of other parties. In the case of the EU and the monitoring mechanism, inadequate compliance was met with a workshop on the production of emission trajectories. Even in the more general cases of non-compliance with EU environmental directives, communication and 'compliance bargaining' sort out 90 per cent of the cases.

In the case of the international climate change regime, it is the inclusion of sanctions that has attracted the most attention - and praise! As commented upon below, this element of the compliance system is undoubtedly important as a hidden stick, but it is highly debatable whether climate change really is radically different from other international environmental institutions in which various forms of management have been the central type of response. This includes the EU's internal climate policy, which in comparison has both fewer and more homogenous parties than the climate regime and has been equipped with formal sanctioning instruments that are likely stronger than those available in the international climate case. It can also be argued that there is little use in setting stricter reduction targets for a subsequent commitment period if a significant reason for non-compliance is the incapacity to follow up previous commitments. Such cases require various forms of assistance, and responding only in the form of sanctions may only make matters worse.

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