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The extent to which people/countries are separated from issues

In the view of Fisher and Ury (2011), negotiations should be on issues and best take place in a rational, goal-oriented frame of mind. It is therefore critical to separate people or countries from the issues during negotiations. Parties that exchange person/country-oriented, emotional arguments run a considerable risk that the real issues are overlooked (Wertheim n.d.). In the context of climate negotiations, during 1991-1997, when negotiating on a UNFCCC text, and later the Kyoto Protocol (see Chaps. 3 and 4), but also during 2005-2015, when negotiating on a post-2020 climate policy (see Chap. 5), negotiations were largely focussed on distrust between developed and developing countries with respect to willingness to effectively tackle climate change.

Over the years, developing countries have repeatedly held developed industrialised countries responsible for the global warming issue, given their historic emissions of greenhouse gases, and therefore insisted that developed countries should take the lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and that developing countries should be exempted from such actions (at least, for the time being). This discussion at some point overshadowed the fact that some developing countries were in the process of rapid industrialisation and were becoming major emitters themselves. Only after the Copenhagen COP session in 2009, the strict dividing line between developed and developing countries was partly removed and in Paris (in 2015), also developing countries committed themselves to formulating national climate plans (Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs, see Chap. 5).

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