Elliot Diringer of a US thinktank, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, said Lima showed up fears among some developing countries that CBDR
is losing its sacred status.
These would need to be consistent with CBDR and the combined UNFCCC and WTO requirement to avoid "arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on world trade.
This requirement to recycle the revenue would provide the necessary compatibility with CBDR, while addressing both direct and indirect carbon leakage.
However, even putting the proposal before Congress might help to stimulate a deeper debate about the fairness of border measures and possibly generate other initiatives that may be more compatible with CBDR than current unilateral proposals.
I have argued that unilateral border measures, insofar as they merely seek to level the competitive playing field, are fundamentally incompatible with the climate regime's burden-sharing norms of CBDR.
CBDR has been carried forward and given effect in the Kyoto Protocol (1997), which requires that only the industrialized countries listed as Annex I countries commit to quantified emissions reductions, while non-Annex I countries have only qualitative obligations.
Under principles such as CBDR
and Rio Principle 2, the structure of modern MEA soften take into account the different interests of developed and developing countries.
This was a notable step forward by these parties, since it represented a bold, though not completely uncontroversial embrace of CBDR, given that it articulated a higher cut in emissions for developed countries.
Since then, the question of how to differentiate the mitigation responsibilities of developed and developing countries under CBDR has remained at a deadlock.
When the framework convention was able to create a binding treaty for emission reductions, the result was the Kyoto Protocol in 1998, which embraced a version of CBDR.
This will require a larger effort by all parties, which will in turn entail revisiting the meaning of CBDR and the overall question of an equitable distribution of mitigation efforts.
This one caveat offers a compelling opportunity to rethink both CBDR and equity under the framework convention.