Possible criteria for differentiated commitments: Fair or feasible?
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- CICERO Working Papers 
This paper discusses the notion of differentiated commitments or burden sharing in the ongoing negotiations on emissions reductions of greenhouse gases. The negotiations, which takes place in the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM) under the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), is leading up to the third Conference of the Parties (COP-3), which is scheduled to take place in Kyoto in December later this year. The paper briefly surveys some of the main issues in the negotiations and argues that the question of differentiated commitments or burden sharing is only one among many difficult topics on the negotiating table. Based on some proposed principles of ‘fairness’, a few central indicators are identified and we provide data on these for a group of OECD countries. We outline some of the propositions for differentiated commitments in the current negotiations, and concludes that within the framework of the OECD countries, burden sharing is only possible if countries outside of the European Union (EU) can compensate USA for the additional greenhouse gas reductions needed to allow high cost countries to commit to lower abatement than the average reduction level. However, an attractive option, not explored in this paper, is for the group of countries outside EU and USA to make a deal with countries with economies in transition, as these countries generally are expected to have relatively low marginal reduction costs. Further studies of such ‘east-west’ deals are clearly warranted.