The notion of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) is a cornerstone of international climate policy. It essentially acknowledges that individual countries’ contributions to global warming are often at odds with the climate change impacts they will be facing while at the same time there exist considerable differences in countries’ capacities and development levels. The logic of CBDR was thus paramount to establish an international legal framework for climate policy in the 1990s. However, its static and dichotomous application to “Annex I” and “Non-Annex I” parties has since proved a major obstacle to the negotiation of the universal new climate agreement that is envisioned for 2015 under the UNFCCC’s “Durban Platform”.
Against this background the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) presents the Discussion Paper “Different perspectives on differentiated responsibilities” that reviews the realities of CBDR in international negotiations. Together with renowned experts in global climate policy and international development we thus aim to stimulate an open-minded debate on future interpretations and the prospective implementation of CBDR under the 2015 climate agreement. To this end, we also discuss CBDR-like notions that have been put into practice elsewhere, including in the World Trade Organization, the Montreal Protocol or the ongoing process towards universal Sustainable Development Goals.Together with our distinguished guest speakers J. Timmons Roberts (Brown University) and Li Xiaoyun (China Agriculture University) as well as DIE deputy director Imme Scholz and lead authors Pieter Pauw and Steffen Bauer we look forward to an out of the box discussion that may facilitate a reinvigoration of CBDR as a meaningful guiding principle for a 2015 climate agreement under the UNFCCC.