Yun Simpson – Climate Change

I believe that international environmental goals would be ideal, but as Tucker states in his article, politics play a big role in how we decide what to do. This includes how we attempt (or do not attempt) to be conservative with our environmental choices. . This means we must use politics to incentive compliance with environmental policy. On a basic level, having international goals for the environment would be useful because it would positively affect everyone. If all states made policies to reduce pollution, recycle, use renewable resources, etc., all states would benefit from it. If the majority of states tried to adhere to these policies, this means they would all have different resources to help achieve the new goals. With this information, states could help each other with resources they might lack. Ideally, states will not always expect reparations because the idea of a better environment would be incentive to aid other states, although I’m sure trading would be encouraged and coordinated. Even if a state did not have physical resources for aid, ideas policy-wise would most definitely be helpful in this situation.

This simple idea is not without faults. A basic problem could be that states do not agree on which problems to focus on and when. When looking at climate change, there are many things we can do to avoid it. What states want to do and how they want to execute it could become a dispute. I believe a way to solve this would be to set goals that are universal, but leave it up to individual states to change the policy in their state. In order to keep states accountable, there could be an international group that reviews the progress, but this is a set up we already have for different issues, such as human rights. An alternative would be to creative a positive incentive to strive for and comply with environmental policy. Having incentives such as promises of aid or support would more likely push states to comply. While this is also a political move states use today, I think because the environment is universal and affects all states whether they comply or not, the incentive means more because everyone will benefit. Those who choose not to comply would likely be ostracized.

All in all, ideally universal environmental goals would better create incentive to avoid climate change, but we must work and think creatively to further incentivize states to comply. Which would hopefully be for the sake of humanity as a whole, but could also be political.


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