On Wednesday, the European Commission will release a communiqué outlining the E.U.’s vision for a successor agreement to Kyoto, to be hashed out this December in Copenhagen.
There have been some leaks related to the document, covered in The NYT and elsewhere, but now EurActiv has gotten a draft copy [PDF] to look over. It’s got pencil marks on it, so obviously it’s preliminary and could change by Wed., but it gives a good sense of the direction E.U. sees things going.
First and centrally, it calls for an E.U.-U.S. working group to begin the process of expanding carbon markets. The first step would be the U.S. creating a domestic cap-and-trade system, obviously, but looking beyond that, and OECD-wide system and eventually a global one.
Another principle thrust is to urge developed nations to substantially step up contributions to a fund that would pay for mitigation and adaptation measures in developing countries. In exchange for that aid, it calls on developing countries to commit to low-carbon development strategies.
The document also recommends the creation of several international agencies — an independent body to track the execution of mitigation commitments in bi- and multi-lateral deals, another to serve as a registry of mitigation actions taken by developing countries, and a technical panel to support adaptation efforts.
The E.U. also recommends reform of the CDM (which, as Grist readers know all too well, is largely a farce right now) so that it only rewards actions that go beyond "low-cost or win-win options."
To say that the devil is in the details with this stuff is an understatement, and I don’t have a good enough sense of international machinations to know how seriously to take the specifics, but to me everything in this outline seems basically like the inevitable shape of an international treaty, if there is to be one. All countries must cap and lower their emissions; rich countries will have to pay developing countries a great deal of money to go along; and international enforcement will gave to get some structure and some teeth.
Addendum: On Tuesday, E.U. environment commissioner Stavros Dimas sent an open letter to President Obama [PDF], proclaiming Europe’s intent to act and expressing hopes that the U.S. will do the same. It’s short and worth reading.