International Environmental Law has used CBDRs to promote fight against climate change and to ensure that every country will promote a sustainable development path, regardless of their current circumstances. CBDRs have played a pivotal role in the UNFCCC framework.

Common but Differentiated Responsibilities, are a form of differential treatment that has become prevalent in the climate change discourse, and has been proven effective in conciliating and moving forward the international discussion on national duties and responsibility regarding environmental protection. In this chapter, Imad Ibrahim, Tomas Deleuil and Paolo Davide Farah outline the origins of the practice, its development in the international community - especially its role in climate change negotiations and Multilateral Environmental Agreements; and their stand in recent COP negotiations. The authors point out , following the process of decolonization, the concept of differential treatment appeared - firstly in International Trade Law. It quickly spread within the international community, and it became an integral part of the international environmental law regime. The concept is deeply connected with notions of fairness and equity, as well as recognizing the historical, social, and economic disparities between different international actors. The Rio Declaration embraced the CBDR philosophy, and it was made explicit in Principle 7: where it is recognized that stated have different responsibilities regarding sustainable development, based on their social, economic circumstances, and their impact on the global environment. This Principle was based on the notion that developed countries bared a greater responsibility for the current state of the environment; moreover, they have the technological and financial means to set in place effective mitigation and adaptation measures. Thus, they were, and still are, to a certain extent, expected to play a greater role in dealing with environmental concerns. However, the CBDR concept was often disputed. In fact, developed and developing countries have had conflicting views on what constituted CBDRs and what role they should be given during international negotiations. Historically, developed countries have tried to minimize the importance of CBDRs; while developing countries stress their importance, and urge their developed counterpart to lead climate change actions. It is clear that CBDRs have been detrimental in the fight against climate change; they allowed for compromises and bound each party, though in different measures, to the legal instruments governing international environmental issues. However, it is paramount that such instrument evolves to adapt to the new challenges and to the developing international circumstances. As the chapter points out, there is already been a shift, towards more inclusive framework for action. The Paris Agreement shows that developing countries have recognized their role in the fight with climate change, and that they have recognized that developed countries cannot bear full responsibility for environmental actions. Climate change is a complex and global issue, which requires global measures - no one can ignore their responsibility, or avoid their share in the fight against it. However, to reach better results, CBRDs must evolve even further - they must set aside historical circumstances and baggage’s related to colonization times, to asses analytically the current national circumstances of the state parties to international environmental conventions, so as to recognize their effective capabilities in climate change action, as well as their environmental impact. Developed countries might have been the biggest contributors to environmental degradation, however, we must ensure that developing countries do not follow the same development path. CBDRs must be used to ensure that developing countries adhere to good environmental practices while pursuing their economic growth.