IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report

4.5 International and regional cooperation

There is high agreement and much evidence that notable achievements of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol are the establishment of a global response to the climate change problem, stimulation of an array of national policies, the creation of an international carbon market and the establishment of new institutional mechanisms that may provide the foundation for future mitigation efforts. Progress has also been made in addressing adaptation within the UNFCCC and additional initiatives have been suggested. {WGII 18.7; WGIII 13.3, SPM}

The impact of the Protocol’s first commitment period relative to global emissions is projected to be limited. Its economic impacts on participating Annex-B countries are projected to be smaller than presented in the TAR, which showed 0.2 to 2% lower GDP in 2012 without emissions trading and 0.1 to 1.1% lower GDP with emissions trading among Annex-B countries. To be more environmentally effective, future mitigation efforts would need to achieve deeper reductions covering a higher share of global emissions (see Topic 5). {WGIII 1.4, 11.4, 13.3, SPM}

The literature provides high agreement and much evidence of many options for achieving reductions of global GHG emissions at the international level through cooperation. It also suggests that successful agreements are environmentally effective, cost-effective, incorporate distributional considerations and equity, and are institutionally feasible. {WGIII 13.3, SPM}

Greater cooperative efforts to reduce emissions will help to reduce global costs for achieving a given level of mitigation, or will improve environmental effectiveness. Improving and expanding the scope of market mechanisms (such as emission trading, Joint Implementation and Clean Development Mechanism) could reduce overall mitigation costs. {WGIII 13.3, SPM}

Efforts to address climate change can include diverse elements such as emissions targets; sectoral, local, sub-national and regional actions; RD&D programmes; adopting common policies; implementing development-oriented actions; or expanding financing instruments. These elements can be implemented in an integrated fashion, but comparing the efforts made by different countries quantitatively would be complex and resource intensive. {WGIII 13.3, SPM}

Actions that could be taken by participating countries can be differentiated both in terms of when such action is undertaken, who participates and what the action will be. Actions can be binding or non-binding, include fixed or dynamic targets, and participation can be static or vary over time. {WGIII 13.3, SPM}