Although there are many proposed successors to the Kyoto Protocol, the existing proposals are typically based on just one or two of the following three philosophical approaches: -- science (e.g., capping global concentrations at 450 ppm); -- equity (e.g., equal emissions per capita across countries); or -- economics (weighing the economic costs of aggressive short-term cuts against the long-term environmental benefits). My emissions reductions plan is a bid to offer a more practical alternative – in addition to those three considerations, it is based heavily on politics. More specifically, any future climate agreement must in practice comply with six important political constraints. 1. The US will not commit to quantitative targets if China and other major developing countries do not commit to quantitative targets at the same time, due to concerns about economic competitiveness and carbon leakage. 2. China and other developing countries will not make sacrifices different in character from those made by richer countries that have gone before them. 3. In the long run, no country can be rewarded for having “ramped up” its emissions high above the levels of 1990. 4. No country will agree to participate if the present discounted value of its future expected costs is more than, say, 1 per cent of GDP. 5. No country will continue to abide by targets that cost it more than, say, 5 per cent of GDP in any one budget period. 6. If one major country drops out, others will become discouraged and the system may unravel.
Frankel, Jeffrey A. "Changing the Political Climate." Business Spectator. July 20, 2009.