Critically reviews the Kyoto Protocol and thirteen alternative policy architectures for addressing the threat of global climate change. The authors employ six criteria to evaluate the policy proposals: environmental outcome, dynamic efficiency, cost effectiveness, equity, flexibility in the presence of new information, and incentives for participation and compliance. The paper identifies several major themes among the alternative proposals: Kyoto is “too little, too fast”; developing countries should play a more substantial role and receive incentives to participate; implementation should focus on market-based approaches, especially those with price mechanisms; and participation and compliance incentives are inadequately addressed by most proposals. Finally, the investigation reveals tensions among several of the evaluative criteria, such as between environmental outcome and efficiency, and between cost-effectiveness and incentives for participation and compliance.
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