By Marco Verweij
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Extra info for Clumsy Solutions for a Complex World: Governance, Politics and Plural Perceptions (Global Issues)
It is not unlikely that such windfalls will stir up discontent among the countries that will end up paying for them. In this vein, allocation of pollution permits between countries could easily set off international conflicts. 14 The Kyoto trading-system allocates permits to pollute among states. But most governments of industrialized countries (including the European Union and Japan) will also allow individual companies within their jurisdictions to sell and trade emission permits. Under these national and regional schemes, it will be necessary to monitor how many greenhouse gases each participating company is putting into the air.
This is a major drawback, as this country is responsible for about a quarter of the problem. Furthermore, the original aim of the Kyoto Protocol has been greatly reduced in a long process of intergovernmental bargaining. Ever since the text of the Protocol was agreed upon in 1997, the governments of the European Union have attempted to induce the governments of Japan, Russia and Canada to sign up the treaty. Without the participation of these countries, ratification of the Protocol would have become impossible.
Neither the cost of acrimonious and vicious political conflict, nor the loss of public trust experienced by those who (perhaps inadvertently, perhaps not) suppress dissenting voices, are particularly attractive. The former often leads to policy deadlock; the latter may well result in a legitimacy crisis in the polity as a whole. Last, even though these are contradictory and irreducible perspectives on policy, none of them can be effectively implemented on its own. Only innovative combinations of bureaucratic measures, risky entrepreneurship and technological progress, as well as frugality and international solidarity could be successful.