Discuss the Effectiveness of National and International Efforts to Tackle the Problem of Global Climate Change.

Topics: Carbon dioxide, Greenhouse gas, Climate change Pages: 5 (1790 words) Published: February 9, 2013
Discuss the effectiveness of national and international efforts to tackle the problem of global climate change. Since the late nineteenth century, the view that global climate change is directly influenced by human behaviour has become increasingly accepted as scientists have provided better evidence for the relationship between the level of global carbon dioxide concentrations and global temperatures. A large number of natural phenomenon and processes are affected by climate change, and these in turn can have a negative impact on groups of people living around the world; i.e. The melting of the ice-caps is responsible for the decrease in the number of polar bears in the arctic, rising sea levels increase the risk and regularity of floods in low-lying areas like Bangladesh, and the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone failing to reach Niger, Chad and Sudan was responsible for a large prolonged famine in the 1980s. The magnitude of the number of countries affected mean that climate change is not just applicable to one nation; it is of international importance. Therefore, as climate change has increasingly become a global issue in recent years, a number of international organisations have been formed to monitor global climate change and to reduce and possibly reverse global climate change. International efforts incorporate a greater number of people than national efforts, and therefore they can have a much larger impact on trying to tackle climate change. However, tackling climate change is expensive, and for certain less economically developed countries- (LEDC’s), it would be unreasonable to insist that they should prioritise tackling climate change over some of their national problems, such as lowering the infant mortality rate and establishing a good healthcare system. Furthermore, international efforts to tackle climate change also face problems from the disparity of natural resources, which means that different solutions have to be used in different countries. Britain has a large amount of coastline, and can therefore generate sustainable energy by using tidal barriers; a solution not available to land-locked countries such as Switzerland. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is a network of 59 cities ranging from Los Angeles in the U.S.A to Addis Ababa- the capital city of Ethiopia. Despite the aforementioned problems facing international efforts to tackle climate change, cities are ideally placed to influence climate change, as they consume over 2/3rds of the world’s energy and are responsible for around 70% of global carbon dioxide emissions. The C40 Group was formed in 2005 to give support to mayors hoping to cut greenhouse gas emissions in their own individual cities. The group is extremely effective, as increased discussions and communications between the leaders of a network of cities mean that the best and most effective ways of cutting greenhouse gas emissions can be copied from city to city. The group aims to ‘use collaboration, knowledge sharing and metrics to drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action’. So far the group have put in place a range of policies such as using more-efficient lighting and building codes, and capturing methane from landfill sites; these should cut 248 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. In addition, as these cities grow and develop, so too does their capacity to tackle climate change, with the New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg claiming that they have the capacity to cut their carbon output by one gigaton (a billion tons) by 2030 in relation to the current predicted levels of carbon output for 2030. The achievements of the C40 group are in stark contrast to the results of international negotiations between countries, the majority of which have failed to reach binding targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and thus tackling global warming. In addition to the C40 group, a number of other international organisations work with cities to reduce global greenhouse...
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