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The parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will meet once again in Durban, South Africa, from 28 November to 9 December. The clock is running out on negotiations for a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. Despite optimism from some (see Tol 2010), progress at Copenhagen two years ago and Cancun one year ago was slow. Negotiations have been blocked by a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. The United States is at loggerheads with the developing world, especially China – now the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases – and India. Fortunately, there might be a way to break through this roadblock. In this column we present a formulas-based approach, building on existing commitments, that could attain desired mitigation of concentrations of greenhouse gases, while avoiding the imposition of disproportionate economic costs on any single country or group of countries (see Bosetti and Frankel 2011 for the formulas and our earlier articles Frankel 2009 and Bosetti and Frankel 2009).


Bosetti, Valentina, and Jeffrey A. Frankel. "How to Agree on Emissions Targets at Durban." VoxEU, November 28, 2011.