Working paper Open Access
This paper analyzes the increasing currency of benefit-sharing in the climate regime and its potential to contribute to engendering greater equity in climate governance. Though benefit-sharing is not explicitly mentioned in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or in the Kyoto Protocol, the international climate regime raises a host of equity questions that have been at least in part addressed by making explicit or implicit reference to the notion of benefit-sharing. This paper maps the use of the benefit-sharing notion in the climate regime, with the objective of developing a research agenda towards ascertaining whether there is any overall coherence in the way it has been termed and interpreted, as well as its potential to better integrate human rights and environmental objectives in climate governance. In order to achieve this, the paper first introduces the main equity questions arising in the climate regime at the inter- and the intra-State levels, to then analyze them through a benefit-sharing lens. The conclusions articulate a series of research questions for further investigation, as well as a preliminary reflection on the implications of investigating equity in the climate regime from a benefit-sharing perspective.