Converging Markets*

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The crucible in this scenario for the international climate regime is the emergence of an effective and liquid international carbon market with participation of private entities. In order to make the carbon market effective a bilateral negotiation track will develop, operating in parallel with the multilateral track under the UNFCCC. The purpose of the bilateral track is to integrate the various emissions trading schemes involving private actors. This bilateral track feeds into the UNFCCC negotiations, which still represents the main arena for the international climate negotiations. Through the bilateral, bottom-up negotiations, a multistage system develops, with differentiated rights and duties, complemented by a package of coordinated support mechanisms. The advantages of such a bottom-up approach prove to be, inter alia, fewer negotiating parties, new negotiation arenas, and a new set of selective incentives. The result is a continuously evolving agreement with the potential to gradually broaden participation and deepen the reduction commitments of the international climate regime. Moreover, the bilateral agreements for linking schemes with private actors also represent a fallback in the event of a collapse in the multilateral negotiations.

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