Climate change has become one of the prominent international environmental problems. One of the defining traits of the climate change issue internationally relates to the different contributions of different groups of countries to anthropogenic emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) and the different capacity to respond to the challenge posed through mitigating activities. Developed countries have thus contributed about two-thirds of cumulative carbon emissions between 1800 and 1988, while the share emitted by developing countries is expected to rise significantly over the next few decades. This article focuses on the integration of flexibility mechanisms into the overall structure of the climate change regime. More specifically, it examines ways in which flexibility mechanisms can both contribute to climate change mitigation and to sustainable development, taking into account the common but differentiated responsibilities of state parties. It argues that strict guidelines must be laid down to ensure that flexibility mechanisms foster environmental and socio-economic goals.
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