If There Was Ever an International Issue, it is Climate Change, and Stakes are Needed.

Of all the issues that the world faces, Climate change is arguably the biggest one that cannot be handled by any one state. However, as there is no higher power to compel states to act in the proper ways to combat it, there need to be proper sticks and carrots to coerce them into action. While there has been much talk about carrots, the world needs to focus more on sticks. In this case, I think that states, especially the ones with the largest capacity to affect climate change, such as the US, India, and China, need to have stakes in the game. If there were to be an independent international organization that were to collect a deposit from the major contributors to climate change. If the goal of the organization was enforcement of treaties about climate change, they could make the stipulation that if the States who signed on to these treaties either backed out of them or fell short of their commitments by a certain year, then that country would lose their deposit. That way, there would be a significant stick that would get state actors to step up and keep their commitments. Shame and lose of face are compelling sticks in the international system to be sure, though they are not enough for this huge issue.

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One thought on “If There Was Ever an International Issue, it is Climate Change, and Stakes are Needed.”

  1. If you created an institution that asked states to put down deposits on treaties with the threat of losing those deposits if the conditions of the treaty weren’t met, or if the state backed out of the treaty, then I think you would run into the exact problem the authors of our articles were talking about. The problem with insisting on a legally binding treaty with repercussions for states who don’t abide by them (whether it be shaming or, in your example, monetary loss) is that states will simply just not sign on to it. Using your example, states would simply not give money over to the institution to be held by it and would refuse to sign any treaties that insist they put any sort of deposit down (whether of political capital or of actual money). Asking states to give money to an institution in order to be a member of that institution’s treaty would hinder cooperation, rather than guarantee it.

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