The Conundrum of International Climate Negotiations – Ricardo Blanco

The climate change discourse seems to be very polarized when it comes to who to blame or what approach to take to fight this global-ill. Some authors, like David G. Victor, author of the article Toward Effective International Cooperation on Climate Change: Numbers, Interests and Institutions argue that there needs to be a more dynamic international institution, like the forum mentioned in his article the L20, where global leaders meet at a regular basis to discuss a solution to global problems with meaningful actions. Another other, David Shorr, describes in his article Think Again: Climate Treaties the process that has been occurring for the past few years regarding climate change, and the discourse that has emerged from it. The author pushes for a refined mechanism of international cooperation through a system of “measurement, reporting and verification” or MRVs for short. This method, which has worked in other policy areas of international relations according to the author, would replace the burden of legally-binding contracts signed in international conclaves.

Indira Gandhi expressed in her speech to the United Nations General Assembly that it is unjust for the developed countries of today to have had the opportunity to freely develop their industry without any carbon restrictions while developing countries today are being burdened with a carbon restriction that would greatly affect their developing and industrialization efforts. The current framework set forward by the Kyoto Protocol granted developed countries the ability to advance sustainable developed in exchange for “carbon credits.” Nonetheless, we have seen that developed countries have exploited this system and have rendered it useless.

Joshua Tucker postulates in his article that the reason why the current international conventions on climate change are not working is due to a human aspect. In his article The fundamental *political* challenge of climate change, Tucker illuminates the fact that since there is no immediate result to climate change policies, politicians are more inclined to not deal with the situation because it will not have a benefit for them or society in the short-run.

Governments and other actors are not in need of a treaty to collectively address climate change. Many treaties can be sign by parties in multilateral agreements, nonetheless, the enforcement and application of the stipulations of said agreements is left for each individual party to ratify domestically. Often time it is in the domestic level that these motions fail to be implemented and this is why many politicians fail to address such issues, often categorizing it as a waste of time.

The best way to address climate change would be by working with bilateral agreements and in small groups, such as those suggested by Victor, amongst major emitters, similar to the agreement reached by the United States and China on November 12, 2014.


One thought on “The Conundrum of International Climate Negotiations – Ricardo Blanco”

  1. Ricardo, you raise an excellent point about how today’s developing nations are attempting to grow with a ceiling put above their heads that is controlled by the more powerful nations. This raises a troubling paradox of how are these countries going to fully develop when that have so much stipulation put in their face with emission restrictions. Additionally, another postulating concern was proposed when you mention how the construction of an L20 will be a more effective regime. As mentioned in the Victor piece, the motivations for this creation is that current regimes have too many members which blocks and sort of cohesion being formed. The interesting thing from these two pieces is that they are slightly contradictory. If an L20 were formed, then the developing countries would not have an effective voice in their to develop and at the same time attempt to comply with the fight against climate change.


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