This tactical step – from the attempt to satisfy the Senate to avoid it – shifted the main challenge of the Phase II negotiator (to justify an unpopular agreement) to Level I (to create an agreement without legally binding commitments). The key question was whether the United States could convince the international community to follow the De Pledge and Review system. The draft Copenhagen Accord, forged by the United States and the BASIC countries, was forcefully rejected by the Level I public for three reasons: it was deemed (1) unfair, (2) are considered ineffective (Ciplet, Roberts and Khan Reference Ciplet, Roberts and Khan2015, 1) and (3) because of its opaque design process (Ciplet, Roberts and Khan Reference Ciplet). Roberts and Khan2015, 1, 66). Not only were other countries upset by the proposed normative shift to equal responsibilities for all countries, but they lacked confidence in the ability and willingness of the United States to implement voluntary commitments. Even if they trusted Obama, the Kyoto experience had shown that his promises were of little value. Obama did not make credible commitments in Copenhagen because of the shadow of Kyoto (Gaubatz Reference Gaubatz in 1996; Tamura Reference Tamura2006), its limited internal political record of climate policy and its ruthless form of backroom diplomacy after midnight. The role of the United States – the dominant player in the regime – is critical to understanding why the deposit and verification system was rejected in 2009 and adopted by the UNFCCC community in 2015. Domestic policy conditions required the US negotiator to follow this new specific contractual architecture, as it bypassed a strong ratification barrier at Level II: persistent congressional opposition to any international climate agreement. There is a general consensus that China`s support for any new agreement is essential. One could argue that any new treaty backed by both China and the U.S.
would leave no choice for others but to align. . . .