Governing Atmospheric Sinks: The Architecture of Entitlements in the Global Commons

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2008
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Abstract
"This article revisits key works on the management of common-pool resources under common property arrangements, in order to elicit a broader notion of collective ownership for analysing institutional arrangements that govern the use of large-scale environmental resources such as biodiversity and atmospheric sinks. The article proposes a model for analysing the institutional design of governance solutions which draws attention to 1) tiers and levels, 2) organisation of generic governance functions, and 3) formulation of specific institutional rules. The article exemplifies these analytical solutions by examining the emerging governance framework for global atmospheric sinks. The article indicates how crucial parts of the institutional framework for governing atmospheric sinks are still missing, a shortcoming which maintains the tragedy of the commons in their use. The article suggests that a workable governance solution for global atmospheric sinks has to 1) cap the use of atmospheric sinks; 2) provide for a more equitable benefit sharing; 3) provide for compensation of climate change impacts and assistance for adaptation to climate change impacts; and 4) create institutional solutions for enhancing participation in environmental decisions in order to guarantee progress in and legitimacy of the governance framework."
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climate change, common pool resources, biodiversity, environmental policy, Kyoto Protocol, institutional analysis
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