JEAIL > Volume 9(1); 2016 > Notes & Comments
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2016

Common and Symmetrical Responsibility in Climate Change: A Bridging Mechanism for Adaptation and Mitigation

Haifeng Deng & Chiyuan Chen
School of Law, Tsinghua University, Haidian District, Beijing 100084 P.R. China.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to address climate change, the international community established a regulatory framework in addition to adaptation and mitigation strategies being at its core, and adopted “common, but differentiated responsibility” as the fundamental principle behind the international climate change regime. However, the climate change regime has reached an impasse in recent years. This paper suggests that “common and symmetrical responsibility” should become the central organizing principle of the future climate regime in order to resolve disagreements among countries and encourage the initiative by the international community. This paper not only provides an analysis of the “bridging mechanism for adaptation and mitigation,” based primarily on the allocation of quantified emissions, limitation and reduction commitments and the sharing of multilateral climate funds, but also discusses the “cut-or-fund” scheme and “cut-and-fund” scheme in in developed and developing States, respectively under this mechanism.

Keywords : Climate Change, Bridging Mechanism, Mitigation, Adaptation, CBDR, Symmetrical Responsibility

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