The Prospect for Multilateral Cooperation on Climate Change

Conference cohosted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the World Resources Institute

Trevor Houser, Peterson Institute
Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Peterson Institute
Arvind Subramanian, Peterson Institute
Jennifer Morgan, World Resources Institute
Edwin M. Truman, Peterson Institute
Jacob Werksman, World Resources Institute

Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington, DC

May 20, 2010

The Peterson Institute and the World Resources Institute (WRI) cohosted a half-day conference on "The Prospect for Multilateral Cooperation on Climate Change" on May 20, 2010. The conference highlights included discussion over challenges faced by the international community in its ability to address global climate change as evidenced in the December 2009 Copenhagen summit and the release of a new policy brief analyzing the details of Senators Kerry and Lieberman's draft legislation, the American Power Act, unveiled May 12, 2010. Visiting Fellow Trevor Houser presented the policy brief summarizing the economic, employment, energy security, and environmental impacts of the draft legislation released by Senators Kerry and Lieberman.

Panel discussants explored an emerging patchwork of multilateral engagements on climate change and discussed the prospects for advancing negotiations. The chaos at the Copenhagen summit and consensus-driven nature of the UN negotiating process has left many participants searching for other avenues for advancing cooperation, such as the Major Economies Forum, meetings of the BASIC countries, the Cartagena Dialogue process, and the Petersberg Climate Dialogue. The conference also addressed how one of the most challenging issues in climate change diplomacy—adapting existing international institutions to a world in which emerging economies play a central role in addressing global issues—is playing out in international trade and economic affairs; how participation, responsibility and equity are being defined; and what these developments portend for upcoming climate change talks.

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