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6 Mich. J. Envtl. & Admin. L. 37 (2016-2017)
Comma but Differentiated Responsibilities: Punctuation and 30 Other Ways Negotiators have Resolved Issues in the International Climate Change Regime

handle is hein.journals/michjo6 and id is 43 raw text is: 





        COMMA BUT DIFFERENTIATED

 RESPONSIBILITIES: PUNCTUATION AND

   30  OTHER WAYS NEGOTIATORS HAVE

             RESOLVED ISSUES IN THE

             INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE

                     CHANGE REGIME

                              Susan  Biniaz*

                                AsrAcr
        International climate change negotiations have a long history of being con-
    tentious, and much has been written about the grand trade-offs that have allowed
    countries to reach agreement. Issues have often involved, for example, the level of
    ambition, diferentiated treatment of Parties, and various forms offinancial assis-
    tance to developing countries.
        Lesser known are the smaller, largely language-based tools negotiators have
    used to resolve differences, sometimes finding a solution as subtle as a shift in the
    placement of a comma. These tools have operated in diferent ways. Some, such
    as deliberate imprecision or postponement, have resolved an issue by sidestep-
    ping it and allowing Parties to preserve their positions. Other tools have enabled
    resolution by splitting the diference between opposing views. Still others have
    involved optical fixes, flexibility, or non-prejudice that helped one or more Parties
    go along with a particular outcome.
        This compendium of textual examples, presented in rough chronological or-
    der, is drawn from my personal involvement in international climate negotiations
    and is by no means exhaustive. The examples may be of interest to those who
    follow climate change in particular, as well as of potential use to those who work
    in other international fields.

                          TABLE   OF CONTENTS

       I.  IDENTIFYING ISSUES....................................... 38
       II. CONSTRUcrlVE AMBIGUITY................................ 39
     III.  TAKING INTo AccouNr................................... 40
     IV.   PARTIES vs. STATES ......................................41
     V.    REVISITING............................................... 42

     Susan  Biniaz has been the lead climate change lawyer for the United States
Department of State since 1989. The views expressed in this article are those of the author
and are not necessarily those of the U.S. Department of State or any other department or
agency of the U.S. Government. The author thanks current and former colleagues for their
review and comments.


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