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Bodansky report noted in blog on Cancun climate conference


December 10, 2010

A report co-authored by the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law’s Daniel Bodansky, Lincoln Professor of Law, Ethics, and Sustainability, was mentioned in the Time Magazine blog about the 16th meeting of the Conference to the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which concluded today.

In the blog, Bryan Walsh writes:

“The U.S. might really be mistaken in its insistence on an all or nothing approach to Cancun—not the least because the collapse of support for climate action back home doesn't exactly put Washington in a strong bargaining position. The only way for a meaningful global climate action regime to come into might be through evolution. That's the measured conclusion from a paper that came out yesterday from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, a centrist think tank that has long followed domestic and global climate action. Eliot Diringer of Pew and Daniel Bodansky of Arizona State University's School of Law traced the history of a range of international regimes—from the European Union itself to the World Trade Organization—and found that they tend to grow over time, not in a single big bang. Diringer and Bodansky write:

‘A comprehensive and binding global agreement has strong virtues, and should be the ultimate goal, but that in working toward that end, parties should focus their efforts for now on concrete, incremental steps both within and outside the UNFCCC.’ ”

Bryan quotes several excerpts from the paper, concluding with this one:

“Given the urgency of addressing climate change, there is no guarantee that this process will reduce emissions quickly enough to avert catastrophic climate change. If a more rapid process were possible, it would be worth pursuing. The paper does not argue that an evolutionary approach is best; rather, it concludes that, at present an evolutionary process is politically the most promising way forward.”

Read the blog posting here.

Read about the convention here.