Bhagwati: Accountability Critical in Climate Pact

Any international agreement on climate change should establish a clear accountability mechanism and carry penalties for non-compliance to bind parties, Columbia University professor Jagdish Bhagwati said in an opinion column on the Financial Times.

Bhagwati said the international community should learn from failures in the Copenhagen climate summit and instead use the example of the World Trade Organization, where “failure to deliver on accepted trade-openness obligations can be challenged and a dispute settlement process exists where an adverse finding leads to penalties.”

Bhagwati, who chairs the Columbia Law School’s Independent India-U.S. Task Force on Copenhagen, said: “A climate change protocol where the commitments on stock or flow aspects are mere declarations with no consequences would lead to a charade and breed cynicism, not produce action.”

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    Tarra Quismundo

    Tarra Quismundo joined Devex Manila as a staff writer in October 2009 after more than six years of working as a reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a nationwide daily, for which she covered major breaking news in politics, military, police and international affairs. Tarra's Devex News coverage focuses on key Asian donors and top aid officials around the globe.