In the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) of 1992, the world's nations aspired to stabilize 'greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system'.2 To achieve that lofty goal, the regime will need to create, over the next century, a broadly-held and abiding norm among governments and within global society that 'appropriate' behaviour requires significant and consistent efforts to reduce emissions of GHGs.

Other chapters in this volume focus on the relatively direct and immediate effects of the climate regime's existing compliance and enforcement mechanisms (or alternatives thereto), evaluating whether, how and under what conditions these mechanisms will influence the climate-altering behaviours of states and substate actors. In this chapter, I look at these mechanisms in light of their potential to have longer-term impacts that may, at present, not be as visible. I argue that initial compliance rates are likely to be quite high but that some, and perhaps much, of this compliance will be achieved without significant behavioural change in industrialized countries, economies in transition or developing countries. Taken together, the definitions of compliance, the methodologies for baselining, the flexibility states have in fulfilling their obligations, the availability of cheap emissions credits for violators to come into compliance, and the regime's general strategy of responding to non-compliance by facilitation rather than enforcement, will make it relatively easy and cheap to fulfil obligations. Initially, therefore, compliance rates are likely to be quite high even with little if any use of the regime's enforcement mechanisms. However, these high compliance rates are not likely to contribute significantly to averting climate change, at least in the short term. Such initial compliance, even if 'empty', may nonetheless help establish a strong international norm that countries that fail to take action to reduce GHG emissions are acting inappropriately. The very ease of complying makes it more difficult for a country to sustain an argument that not complying is appropriate: if compliance is easy for the country complying but non-compliance is expensive to the environment and other countries, then non-compliance is likely to be increasingly viewed as deserving of social opprobrium.

Were such a norm to develop, it could, over the longer term, contribute significantly to climate progress by convincing states that action to prevent climate change is the right thing to do even when it is costly.

At present, governments and individuals act in ways that contribute to climate change because of the strength of material incentives for such behaviours and the weakness of norms framing such behaviours as inappropriate. Existing social structures create both a logic of consequences and a logic of appropriateness that lead most governments and individuals to make little if any effort to avert climate change (March and Olsen, 1998). In a logic of consequences, 'action by individuals, organizations, or states is driven by calculation of its consequences as measured against prior preferences' (March and Olsen, 1998, pp949-50). Currently, most governments and individuals consider the costs of acting to avert climate change to exceed the benefits of doing so. There are, of course, a few 'no regrets' policies and behaviours regarding climate change in which the benefits accruing to those adopting them may be large enough to convince them to take action; new scientific insights may increase the number of such policies and behaviours. However, for the foreseeable future, the benefits of reducing or sequestering emissions or other climate-protecting actions will be uncertain, will occur in the future and will accrue to others, while the costs are clear, present and borne by those taking such actions, making such actions unattractive for those making decisions based in a logic of consequences. International institutions, including the climate regime, are systematically weak and have limited resources to alter costs and benefits enough to alter such decisions.

Given this, the climate regime's long-term success more likely depends on its ability, over the next century, to establish a new logic of appropriateness about acts that contribute to climate change. In a logic of appropriateness, actions are guided by norms that link particular identities or roles with particular behaviours in particular situations (March and Olsen, 1998, p951). Actors ask '"what kind of situation is this?" and "what am I supposed to do now?" rather than "how do I get what I want?"'(Finnemore and Sikkink, 1998, p914; see also the Introduction to this book). In this logic, actions are responses to internalized norms, externalized social expectations regarding appropriate behaviour in a situation, or beliefs regarding the behaviours one must engage in to acquire or maintain a certain identity. Actions that cause climate change, and the failure to take actions to avert it, generally have not yet been framed as illegitimate, reprehensible or otherwise inappropriate. Climate regime institutions and processes must foster economic, political and social changes that make behaviours that contribute to climate change appear increasingly inappropriate and convince more and more actors to accept that acts that are costly from a material logic of consequences perspective are, nevertheless, worth undertaking because they are the right thing to do.

Ultimate regime success at altering actors' behaviours depends less on instrumental manipulation of incentives than on deeper transformations of the goals they embrace and the behavioural norms they accept. Non-authoritarian governance -the only type possible internationally - works only if those being governed view its proscriptions and prescriptions as legitimate and appropriate constraints on their behaviour. Behavioural change will require states and their policy makers to accept either an internalized or externalized behavioural norm, either believing themselves that actions to avert climate change are appropriate obligations or believing that other states and their own polities view such actions as appropriate obligations. Experience with human rights norms suggests that, while it may take decades, relatively weak international institutions can induce such normative shifts that eventually convince even initially-resistant governments to bring their behaviours in line with those considered necessary to be accepted as full members of the community of nations (Keck and Sikkink, 1998).

I begin by delineating how compliance is defined and the role of baselines in both country-level and project-level compliance under the FCCC, as developed up to and including the provisions of the Marrakesh Accords. I then go on to examine how the provisions for monitoring and verification, review, facilitating compliance and enforcement are likely to operate. I examine how those compliance and enforcement mechanisms are likely to influence the behaviour of states and non-state actors in the short term through a logic of consequences, and how they may have deeper and more substantial influences on their behaviour over the longer term through a logic of appropriateness.

0 0

Post a comment