On the Possiblity of Mediation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
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Almost twenty years after the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and negotiations over mitigation and adaptation strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions began, the negotiations continue to fall short of scientific goals to curb warming. Current UNFCCC procedures do not provide for mediation in the process of negotiations. Public policy mediation has been used often at local, national, and regional levels to resolve environmental disputes. The characteristics of the climate change negotiations suggest that mediation may provide a number of benefits to the negotiations. Scholars and practitioners have developed criteria for determining the suitability of applying mediation to a dispute. The UNFCCC negotiations meet the majority of these criteria. However, the urgency of the issue, its complexity, the number of stakeholders, institutional capacity, and the power parity of the parties suggest mediation may be most beneficial if applied on a small scale at the UNFCCC negotiations.