The Asia-Pacific partnership on clean development and climate: A retreat from the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities?
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The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate ("APP") was formed in July 2005 by China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and the United States. Canada was accepted as the seventh partner nation of the APP in October 2007. The APP is a soft-law technology cooperation agreement on climate change that contains no international targets for greenhouse gas mitigation or formal differentiation in responsibility between developed and developing nations. The APP nations claim the partnership is consistent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ("UNFCCC"). This article analyzes the founding documents and institutional structure of the APP to determine whether it is consistent with the key UNFCCC principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities" ("CBDR"). It is found that the APP fails to support important retributive and needs-based justice principles that are at the heart of the UNFCCC conception of CBDR. In weakening support for these justice principles the APP also fails to support the intra-generational equity aspects of sustainable development. The claims of consistency between the APP and the UNFCCC are therefore not justified.
This document has been peer reviewed.