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Global Warming, Climate-Change Mitigation, and the Birth of a Regulatory Regime

January 1997

Citation: ELR 10012

Author: Laura H. Kosloff & Mark C. Trexler

In the July 1996 issue of News and Analysis, Richard Blaustein discussed the concept of joint implementation, a potentially important provision of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC).1 In his Dialogue, the author summarized the history of joint implementation, the current debate over its future role as a mechanism for international climate-change mitigation, and some of its potential implications for private-sector companies here in the United States.

Joint implementation is one element of an increasingly complex framework that can legitimately be characterized as a nascent regulatory regime aimed at mitigating the threat of climate change.2 As the scientific basis for more decisive policy action continues to firm, voluntary policy measures that are already in place in many countries may soon be supplemented by a legally binding international emissions-reduction protocol intended to "prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."3 That evolution toward this new regime has been by no means steady and even should be no surprise, given the technical characteristics of climate change as a public policy issue.

Laura H. Kosloff is Vice President and General Counsel and Mark C. Trexler is President of Trexler and Associates, Inc. (TAA), a Portland environmental and energy policy consulting firm providing services in the areas of climate-change mitigation, energy-facility siting, and natural resources law and policy. TAA developed the carbon-offset package for the city of Klamath Falls described in this Dialogue and advised the city on climate-change and carbon-offset issues during the contested case proceeding. TAA has been active in the development of carbon offsets and climate-change mitigation policy since its inception. Ms. Kosloff chairs the American Bar Association's Special Committee on Climate Change and Sustainable Development and is a former Associate Editor of ELR—The Environmental Law Reporter.

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