ACCOMMODATING THE INTERESTS OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IN THE CLIMATE CHANGE REGIME 3
successful elements of the ozone depletion regime, including the negotiation
process and devices used to ensure the participation and meaningful contribution
of developing nations, could perhaps serve as a model for future climate change
The traditional North-South divide, which presents enormous challenges to
the adoption of many multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) due to
economic disparities, is one of the reasons for the delays that have occurred in
fighting climate change.7 However, the Montreal Protocol regime, which deals
with ozone layer depletion, is considered by many as a breakthrough in many
respects, partially because it managed to balance and reconcile the interests of
both the developing South and the developed North and brought both groups
together to achieve a common goal.8 Based on scholarly literature, international
agreements, decisions and reports, and other empirical data, this article assesses
the kinds of lessons one can draw from the Montreal Protocol regime for
application to the developing climate change regime. In particular, it addresses
the ways in which the interests and commitments of the developing and
developed nations were balanced by the Montreal regime.
Section 1 highlights the origin and features of ozone depletion and climate
change and further explores the actions taken by the international community to
address these environmental hazards including the negotiations, challenges
encountered and the degree of success attained in the two regimes. The second
section of the article focuses on the concerns raised by developing countries and
their reasons for claiming preferential treatment in MEAs, the mechanisms
devised by the Montreal regime to address these concerns, and the degree of
success such mechanisms have had. Moreover, some differences and similarities
of the two regimes are discussed with a view to identifying the lessons that
contributed to the success of the Montreal regime. Section 3 assesses the
lessons that can safely be applied to the climate regime through global
consensus that requires enhanced participation of developing nations without
adversely affecting their interests. Hence, a sequential approach [addressing the
6 Id; Laura Thoms, supra note 3, at 795; Sean Cumberlege, (2009). ‘Multilateral
Environmental Agreements: From Montreal to Kyoto - a Theoretical Approach to an
Improved Climate Change Regime’, 37 Denver Journal of International Law and
Policy 303, at 304.
7 See for example, Harro van Asselt and Joyeeta Gupta, (2009). ‘Stretching Too Far?
Developing Countries and The Role Of Flexibility Mechanisms Beyond Kyoto’, 28
Stan. Envtl. L.J. 311; Michael Weisslitz, , (2002). Comment, ‘Rethinking the
Equitable Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibility: Differential Versus
Absolute Norms of Compliance and Contribution in the Global Climate Change
Context’, 13 Colo. J. Int'l Envtl. L. & Pol'y 473.
8 Weisslitz, Ibid, at 480.