Advertisement

Abstract

The UNFCCC has traditionally made decisions by consensus. This means that a decision is only adopted if there is no formal objection from any member state at the COP, leading to obstructionist behaviour and outcomes that represent the lowest common denominator. One proposed solution to this problem is to make decisions by majority-rule, although little has been said about the specificities of implementing majority-rule in the UNFCCC or about its fairness in this context. To this end, this chapter identifies which voting mechanism should be used in the UNFCCC and how votes should be weighted. It considers what rules are needed to govern decisions by majority rule, including whether more votes should be given those who represent more actors, and what sort of majority is needed to make a decision. It argues that COP decisions should be made by majority rule, with some caveats, and that votes should be in part weighted according to the population that each state represents.

Keywords

Procedural Justice Majority Rule Vote Power Vote Weight Technical Competence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Adesnik, D., and M. McFaul. 2006. Engaging autocratic allies to promote democracy. The Washington Quarterly 29(2): 7–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arrhenius, G. 2005. The boundary problem in democratic theory. In Democracy unbound, ed. F. Tersman. Stockholm: Stockholm University.Google Scholar
  3. Balinski, M.L., and H.P. Young. 2001. Fair representation: Meeting the ideal of one man, one vote. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute.Google Scholar
  4. Bell, D., and F. Rowe. 2012. Are climate policies fairly made? York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.Google Scholar
  5. Biermann, F., K. Abbott, et al. 2012. Navigating the anthropocene: Improving earth system governance. Science 16.335(6074): 1306–1307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blake, D.J., and A.L. Payton. 2009. Decision making in international organizations: An interest based approach to voting rule selection. Research in International Politics Workshop, January 16, 2008.Google Scholar
  7. Bodansky, D. 1999. Legitimacy of international governance: A coming challenge for international environmental law? The American Journal of International Law 93(3): 596–624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brighouse, H., and M. Fleurbaey. 2010. Democracy and proportionality. Journal of Political Philosophy 18(2): 137–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brunnée, J. 2002. COPing with consent: Law-making under multilateral environmental agreements. Leiden Journal of International Law 15(1): 1–52.Google Scholar
  10. Buchanan, J.M., and G. Tullock. 1962. The calculus of consent: Logical foundations of constitutional democracy. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  11. Christiano, T. 1996. The rule of the many: Fundamental issues in democratic theory. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  12. Christiano, T. 2008. The constitution of equality: Democratic authority and its limits. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dimitrov, R.S. 2010. Inside Copenhagen: The state of climate governance. Global Environmental Politics 10(2): 18–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Harstad, B. (2009). Rules for negotiating and updating climate treaties. Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements. Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. John F. Kennedy School of Government.Google Scholar
  15. Kelsen, H. 1955. Foundations of democracy. Ethics 66(1): 1–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Levi, M. 2014. The lima climate agreement. Council for Foreign Relations blog post, 15th December 2014. http://blogs.cfr.org/levi/2014/12/15/the-lima-climate-agreement-isnt-as-new-as-it-seems/
  17. Levitsky, S., and L.A. Way. 2006. Linkage versus Leverage. Rethinking the international dimension of regime change. Comparative Politics 38(4): 379–400.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lister, F. 1984. Decision-making strategies for international organizations: The IMF model. Series in World Affairs 40(4).Google Scholar
  19. LRI. 2011. A guide to the UNFCCC institutions, Legal response initiative briefing paper. London: Legal Response Initiative.Google Scholar
  20. McIntyre, E. 1954. Weighted voting in international organizations. International Organization 8(4): 484–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McNicoll, G. 1999. Population weights in the international order. Population and Development Review 25(3): 411–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mill, J.S. 1861. Considerations of representative government, On liberty and other essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Müller, B., J. Drexhage, et al. 2003. Framing future commitments: A pilot study on the evolution of the UNFCCC greenhouse gas mitigation regime. Oxford Institute for Energy Studies EV 32.Google Scholar
  24. Nye, J.S. 2001. Globalization’s democratic deficit: How to make international institutions more accountable. Foreign Affairs 80(4): 2–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Payton, A.L. 2010. Consensus procedures in international organizations. EUI Working Papers 22.Google Scholar
  26. Prins, G., and S. Rayner. 2007. Time to ditch Kyoto. Nature 449: 973–975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rajamani, L. 2006. Differential treatment in international environmental law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rajamani, L. 2011a. The Cancun climate change agreements: Reading the text, subtext and tea leaves. International & Comparative Law Quarterly 60(2): 499–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rajamani, L. 2011b. The climate regime in evolution: The disagreements that survive the Cancun agreements. Climate and Carbon Law Review 136.Google Scholar
  30. Rapkin, D.P., and J.R. Strand. 2005. Developing country representation and governance of the international monetary fund. World Development 33(12): 1993–2011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Saunders, B. 2010. Democracy, political equality, and majority rule. Ethics 121: 148–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sohn, L.B. 1974. Introduction: United Nations decision-making: Confrontation or consensus. Harvard International Law Journal 15(3): 438–445.Google Scholar
  33. Steinberg, R.H. 2002. In the shadow of law or power? Consensus-based bargaining and outcomes in the GATT/WTO. International Organization 56(2): 339–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tännsjo, T. 2005. Future people, the all affected principle, and the limits of the aggregation model of democracy. In Democracy unbound, ed. F. Tersman. Stockholm: Stockholm University.Google Scholar
  35. Touval, S. 2010. Negotiated cooperation and its alternatives. In International cooperation: the extents and limits of multilateralism, ed. I. Zartman and S. Touval. New York/Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  36. UNFCCC. 1992. United Nations framework convention on climate change. Convention Text.Google Scholar
  37. Van Houtven, L. 2002. Governance of the IMF: Decision-making, institutional oversight, transparency, and accountability. Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund.Google Scholar
  38. Waldron, J. 1999. Law and disagreement. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Warren, M.E. 2002. What can democratic participation mean today? Political Theory 30(5): 677–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Werksman, J. 1999. Procedural and institutional aspects of the emerging climate change regime: Do improvised procedures lead to impoverished rules? Concluding Workshop for the Project to Enhance Policy-Making Capacity Under the Framework Convention on Climate Change and The Kyoto Protocol. London: Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development.Google Scholar
  41. Wettestad, J. 1999. Designing effective environmental regimes: The key conditions. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  42. World Population Prospects. 2010. World population prospects: The 2010 revision. Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/index.htm.
  43. Zamora, S. 1980. Voting in international economic organizations. American Journal of International Law 74: 588–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luke Tomlinson
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUK

Personalised recommendations