Enforcing the Kyoto Protocol: Can Punitive Consequences Restore Compliance?

In order to enhance effective cooperation, the Marrakesh Accords provide a compliance system for the international climate regime. An innovative part of this system is an Enforcement Branch authorized to impose punitive consequences on countries that fail to comply with their Kyoto obligations. Previous research has primarily focused on the ability of this compliance system to deter non-compliance. By contrast, this paper discusses whether the actual use of punitive consequences may be expected to induce a non-compliant country to return to compliance.

To deter non-compliance punitive consequences must be relevant, potent, and credible. However, when punitive measures are actually imposed, deterrence has already failed. This needs to be considered when analyzing their ability to restore compliance. We argue that only if the imposition of punitive consequences is unanticipated, or their effects prove harsher than expected, will the non-complier be induced to return to compliance. Neither of these conditions can be expected to be fulfilled under the climate regime’s compliance system. Thus, it will likely be the exception, rather than the rule that the use of punitive consequences will manage to restore compliance.


Hovi, Jon, Camilla Bretteville Froyn and Guri Bang, 2007. Enforcing the Kyoto Protocol: Can Punitive Consequences Restore Compliance?. Review of International Studies, 33 (3 (July)): pp. 435-449.

More details

  • Language: Engelsk
  • Category: Tidsskriftartikler
  • Title: Enforcing the Kyoto Protocol: Can Punitive Consequences Restore Compliance?
  • Journal: Review of International Studies
  • Volume: 33
  • Number: 3 (July)
  • Pages (from-to): 435-449


Last updated: 02.01.06


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