What Problems Are Involved with Establishing an International Climate Change Regime

Topics: Global warming, Climate change, Kyoto Protocol Pages: 11 (3452 words) Published: April 2, 2013

What Problems are Involved in establishing an International Climate Change Regime? Can They be Overcome? Aisling O’Hagan 109337270 Word Count: 3,229

What Problems are involved in establishing an international climate change regime? Can they be overcome?


What Problems are involved in establishing an international climate change regime? Can they be overcome?

Introduction This essay will begin by reviewing the developments the United Nations (U.N) has made with climate change. This will look particularly at the efforts made towards establishing an international climate change regime over the past two decades. This has shown up a number of stumbling blocks that the U.N has faced. This essay will identify these problems and provide suggestions as to how they are caused. To Study the reasons for these problems the essay will study the relationship between science, politics and policy. This will determine if the problems stem from a gap between any of these actors in the development of global policy change. The essay will then transition to consider the actors affected by global environmental policy. This will concentrate specifically on citizens and multi-national corporations. The essay will then conclude by analysing the information gained from these studies to determine if the problems can be overcome, and if so suggestions remedy problems.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change This section of the essay will give a brief background of the work the United Nations has done in working towards a global environmental policy on climate change. Since 1990 it has been recognised that climate change is a major challenge facing the world and collective effort is necessary to limit its effects. There has been a series of negotiations underway to attempt to solve the issue of climate change. The first step towards global cooperation in resolving climate change problems was in June 1992 in Rio De Janeiro at the the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). One hundred and fifty-three states signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The objective of the UNFCCC is ‘to achieve stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a low enough level to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate change’ (UNFCCC, 2013). The core aim was for developed countries to stabilise the level of their greenhouse gases in 1990 by 2000. However this was not a legally binding target it was just encouraged and it was agreed upon by states that this was of collective benefit and would build a sustainable future. The next step in global cooperation was the Kyoto protocol which laid out binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The intention of the 2

What Problems are involved in establishing an international climate change regime? Can they be overcome? Kyoto protocol was to reduce GHG emissions by 5% in industrialised states 1990 level (UNFCCC, 2013). A milestone for environmental policy was in 2001 when 186 states adopted the Kyoto protocol as a legally binding international treaty. The US did not ratify the treaty under Bush administration and the European Union were the driving force of on Kyoto implementation (UNFCCC, 2013). The lack of support from the U.S. resulted in a weakened agreement. Global GHG emissions have continued to steadily rise throughout the 1900s and 2000s. However, the Kyoto protocol acts as a solid foundation for further developments in the global governance of climate change. The Copenhagen Summit of UNFCCC was held in 2009 to establish post Kyoto plans for managing climate change. It was not possible to constitute a global binding policy for climate change. A political agreement was established between the US, China, India, Brazil and outh frica his agreement was to restrict temperature increase to C (UNFCCC, 2013). The deadline of the 31st of January was given for developed states to submit their...

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