March 16, 2018 12:58 pm

The art of ratcheting

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The Netherlands is embarking on an effort to define a next set of climate policy targets. This editorial in the Financieel Dagblad recommends considering including a ratcheting mechanism.

Ratcheting was the major innovation of the COP21 Paris agreement. Faced with insufficient collective targets, countries agreed to proceed nonetheless, but also committed to revise their target upwards on a regular basis.

Setting targets by consensus mostly leads to a shortfall in target levels. This is no one’s intention, but just a systemic feature and a function of compromise. For example the 2013 Dutch Energy Agreement was a best practice example of consensus policy, albeit with an unambitious and insufficient target.

In order not to repeat this outcome as the Netherlands sets new targets, in this editorial warmly recommend the ratcheting (palrad in Dutch) mechanism to the negotiators.

Financieel Dagblad editorial

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