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Analysis of Climate Negotiation Dossiers in This Book

In this chapter, three factors for successful international climate policy negotiations have been discussed in further detail, based on a literature review and experience from past negotiation sessions, mainly on climate change. From literature on game theory, factors have been identified that determine the design (i.e. size and structure) of an international coalition, such as for climate policy making. It has been concluded that formal negotiations on international agreements, such as under the auspices of the UN, are characterised by the absence of an overarching authority to enforce compliance with the agreed objectives and targets. It has been explained how incentives for compliance should preferably come from within the agreement in the form of political goodwill from cooperation, compensating financial and technology transfers, and cost-effective mechanisms to reduce compliance costs (e.g., emissions trading).

Such incentives not only enable the creation of a sufficiently large climate policy coalition to address free riding, consider climate change as ‘tragedy of the commons’ and treat climate policy making as a public good, but also keep the coalition stable during its operationalisation. An important aspect of negotiations, in order to establish a stable coalition, is that an acceptable allocation of commitments and surpluses is sought across the participating parties and that institutional structures are adequate for monitoring the compliance with agreed commitments.

Insights on the process of negotiations have been generated from literature sources on ‘integrative’ versus ‘distributive’ negotiation process contexts and it has been examined to what extent climate negotiations would fall in either category, or in both with development from one process category to the other as a result of repetitive negotiation rounds. The chapter has also described what the official climate regime negotiation process looks like, with a central role for the COP.

Finally, tactical and facilitating aspects during negotiations have been elaborated on. It has been discussed how country tactics can be determined by preferences of the state as a whole, preferences of domestic interest groups and the role of domestic institutional structures in building up a national negotiation position. It has also been discussed how the course of negotiations (and their outcomes) can be influenced by a range of tactical and/or facilitating factors, such as whether negotiators have clear mandates from their governments, are influenced by (international) interest groups such as environmental NGOs, face time pressure to complete negotiations before a deadline, and have all necessary documents available in the right languages and at the right moment.

In the next chapters, it is examined whether and how these facts have been met during negotiations on the UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement (Chaps. 3-5).

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