Sectoral Solutions or Carbon Cartels

Will global industry proposals result in a fair and safe climate deal?

Big business has the power to make or break a fair and safe global deal to fight climate change in December 2009. On the occasion of the World Business Summit on Climate Change being held in Copenhagen May 24-26, Oxfam published an analysis of one of industry's key proposals for the climate negotiations: global sectoral industry approaches.

Based on independent research commissioned from Jonas Meckling, Research Fellow at Harvard University, Oxfam concludes that voluntary sectoral agreements could undermine the principles of a fair and safe deal.

Leaving it to industry to police itself risks not achieving the real emissions cuts so desperately needed to avoid catastrophic climate change and devastating impacts on millions of poor people around the world. At the time, sectoral technology co-operation could support the development and diffusion of low carbon technologies for mitigation – but only if strict conditions relating to intellectual property rights, fair governance and reform of the Clean Development mechanism were met.

Oxfam calls on business to ensure any proposals it puts forward to the UN Copenhagen negotiations genuinely uphold the principles of a fair and safe deal.

Also see Jonas Meckling's report ‘Global Sectoral Industry Approaches to Climate Change: Helping or Harming?’ which sets out the arguments for and against such approaches from the basis of equity and effectiveness.