Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

It’s One Climate Policy World Out There -- Almost

12/8/09

As climate talks get underway in Copenhagen, the specifics of an agreement to slow global warming and adapt to its effects are far from settled. My guest on this week's Wonkcast, Jan von der Goltz, has spent the last few weeks surveying views in the global development community about what these specifics should be.

Jan is the author, along with CGD president Nancy Birdsall, of a new CGD paper It’s One Climate Policy World Out There--Almost that presents the results of a recently completed CGD survey. The online survey, which Nancy and Jan launched in mid-November, collected the views of nearly 500 respondents, hailing from 88 countries, who mostly work on international development issues.

Unlike most surveys on climate, which generally test the knowledge of respondents about climate science, CGD's survey asked respondents for their views on specific prescribe issues that are being discussed in Copenhagen. It sought to find which specific policy options are widely favored among development experts, and whether opinions diverge along developed vs. developing country lines.

Jan tells me that, by and large, there is an encouraging degree of consensus on most key items. A large majority of respondents from both developing and developed countries held very similar views on the responsibilities of the two different country groups, including on issues that have been very controversial in the negotiations.

Most favored binding commitments now by developed countries, and commitments by 2020 by ‘advanced developing countries’ (Brazil, China, India, South Africa and others), limited use of offsets by developed countries, strict monitoring of compliance with commitments, and the use of trade measures (e.g. carbon-related tariffs) only in very narrow circumstances.

Among approaches to governance, the most support went to the Climate Investment Fund model—of equal representation of developing and developed countries on the board.

I learned a lot from taking the survey (it’s still online as an educational tool, you can take it here) and from talking with Jan. Have something to add to our discussion? Ideas for future interviews? Post a comment below. If you use iTunes, you can subscribe to get new episodes delivered straight to your computer every week.