October 10, 2022

“Pathways to an International Agreement to Leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground”

Event Description

Harro van Asselt and Peter Newell will present findings from their recent paper on “Pathways to an International Agreement to leave Fossil Fuels in the Ground.”

From the abstract:

To achieve the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal, fossil fuel production needs to undergo a managed decline. While some frontrunner countries 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. This article explores two possible pathways—one following a club model and the other more akin to a multilateral environmental agreement. Specifically, 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. 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.

Anastasia Pappas
Founder, E-axes Forum
Harro van Asselt
Harro van Asselt is a Professor of Climate Law and Policy at the University of Eastern Finland Law School, and a visiting researcher with the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, and an affiliated researcher with the Stockholm Environment Institute. He has over 10 years of research experience, focusing on various aspects of international and European climate change law and policy, including the review of implementation and compliance, the use of market-based mechanisms, climate-trade policy interactions, and reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), and non-state actors. His work has appeared in journals including Nature, Science, Nature Climate Change, American Journal of International Law, Regulation and Governance, Climatic Change, and Climate Policy. He is Editor of the journal Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law (RECIEL), Associate Editor of the Carbon & Climate Law Review (CCLR), and sits on the Editorial Board of International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. Harro holds a PhD (cum laude) from the VU University Amsterdam (2013), and an MA in law with a specialization in international law from VU University Amsterdam (2002).
Peter Newell
Peter Newell is a Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex. He is a specialist in the politics and political economy of environment and development. For more than 25 years he has conducted research, consultancy, and advisory work on issues of climate change and energy, agricultural biotechnology, corporate accountability, and trade policy working in a number of countries including Argentina, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Mexico, and South Africa. In recent years his research has mainly focussed on the political economy of carbon markets and low carbon energy transitions. Besides working for academic institutions including the universities of Sussex, Oxford, Warwick, and East Anglia, he has undertaken commissioned research and policy work for the governments of the UK, Sweden, and Finland and for international organisations such as UNDP, GEF, and the Inter-American Development Bank. His publications include the books: Climate for Change: Non State Actors and the Global Politics of the Greenhouse; The Effectiveness of EU Environmental Policy; Development and the Challenge of Globalization; The Business of Global Environmental Governance; Rights, Resources and the Politics of Accountability; Climate Capitalism; Governing Climate Change; Globalization and the Environment: Capitalism, Ecology and Power; Transnational Climate Change Governance and Global Green Politics.

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