New article in Global Environmental Politics on diplomatic and legal options for addressing the need to leave large swathes of remaining fossil fuels in the ground
A new open access journal article by NDC ASPECTS’ Harro van Asselt and Peter Newell explores diplomatic and legal options for addressing the need to leave large swathes of remaining fossil fuels in the ground. To achieve the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal, fossil fuel production needs to undergo a managed decline. While some frontrunner countries such as Denmark, Costa Rica, Ireland and New Zealand have already begun to adopt policies and measures restricting fossil fuel supply, an outstanding question is how international cooperation in support of a managed decline of fossil fuel production could take shape to cover more countries. This article explores two possible pathways—one following a club model building on the Powering Past Coal Alliance and the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, and the other more akin to a multilateral environmental agreement. The article discusses the participants in an international agreement; the forum through which cooperation will take place; the modalities, principles, and procedures underpinning the agreement; and the incentives to induce cooperation. Considering the pros and cons of, and trade-offs in the two models, the article concludes that the most likely scenario at this juncture is the emergence of club arrangements covering particular fossil fuel sources and groups of actors that, over time, give rise to growing calls for a more coordinated and multilateral response such as a fossil fuel treaty. While a club arrangement is more likely in the near term, to adequately address the range of key issues that need to be confronted, a multilateral treaty would be required to effectively coordinate supply-side policy responses to the climate crisis.
Full reference: Harro van Asselt, Peter Newell (2022). Pathways to an International Agreement to Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground. Global Environmental Politics. https://doi.org/10.1162/glep_a_00674