The three articles discussing climate change all point out that time is running short to address it. There is an underlying recognition of human nature and what it will take to motivate countries, who act like people, to start working on the problem of climate change with greater effort. All three articles argue that there has to be more of a human appeal rather than just scientific evidence and threat of enforcement to induce cooperation on climate change. Continue reading Human Appeal Needed For Next Climate Change Treaty—Alice Huntoon
Do we need a comprehensive and binding international treaty in order to start to tackle the global issue of climate change? Of course not. Do we need the country of Lesotho to agree to chip in by reducing greenhouse gas emissions before other countries can move forward on addressing climate change? Again, of course not, and thankfully it seems that we are waking up to those simple facts.
Since the Kyoto Protocal, is an important to address that since the international agreement was implemented, it has not been able to succeed because of the different goals and objectives of governemnts.
Cooperation as in trade offs is a principal limitation in the commitment of an opposing party. Most of the governments involved in the transformation of climate change today have different objectives and goals on what is most important. For example, while the U.S. is one of the biggest contributors to emissions in CO2, China and India have had little ambition for effective cooperation, meanwhile Russia and emerging countries are more focused on the development of countries rather than emissions. These states have different goals of what is actually going to be effective for the international community. The EU meanwhile is the second largest contributor but has made effective effectiveness in its contribution, resulting in the fact the impediments are more international. Most of these countries obtain the failure to cooperate because countries end up failing to come up with their own interests or assemble each other towards a common goal. In Victor’s scholarly article, Toward Effective International Cooperation on Climate Change he mentioned to cooperate under transaction costs, it is vital to comprehend the capacity that these treaties, organizations and norms can do to assist cooperation facility between countries and their goals towards climate change. There is only so much that an organization can do when the level of interests of these countries vary in multiple ways. Treaties have the ability to manage these climate change projects, however, if governments are not finding creative ways to be a part of process of these projects then treaties are almost ineffective.
Instead of going through a binding agreement, the best process for a government to do is to establish a non-binding agreement in order for there to be an open environment for governments to commit to more ambitious goals without it being held against them. It is vital to comprehend that these governments have their own self-interests and most of them have different opinions on what the international community is suppose to do about climate change initiatives. It is important that there is a universal agreement because what this will do first is give states the ability of having an agreement manage the process of global change in order for every government to be on the same page of the process. However, it is important that instead of it being a binding project that it would be a non-binding linkage so that governments can challenge themselves more and work together towards global governance. It is important that the agreement is embedded in the institution. In order to understand who is advancing towards this goal, it is important to address the governments national performance.
Since the League of Nations, there has always been a contested fear of these governments to fully commit to its principals. Although treaties can provide a managing universal agreement, as stated before, we live in a realist world and ultimately people are bound to be drawn towards their own goals and self interests. However that being said, instead of having a fully broad group of governments involved in this change, it is ideal that a number of strong governments are able to take the lead in the future of changing our climate if they have the capacity and ability.
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.
It is increasingly difficult to escape blame for climate change. Culpability lies in the land we allocate to urban development, in cars we drive, and even in many of the manufactured goods we enjoy. Culpability is also not specific to the developed world. China and India do not trail so far behind the U.S. and the EU in the share of global emissions toxic to the environment. We must recognize that climate change is something to which many-if-not-most people around the globe are contributing. However, as scholars like David Victor have pointed out without tire, universal “solutions” drawn up through the conventional international institutions are unable to provide us with sufficient climate governance. Instead, a looser framework relatively lacking in universality and binding institutions seems more likely to succeed in reducing the risk calculus for world-wide, climate change-induced disaster.
Investing in billions that you may never see the effects of? We question why big players like China and Russia will not cooperate but the problem is more on the basis of an international game of chess with a ticking clock. Many hold that the game needs to disappear but what we really need is to think outside of the board for the answer. If governments in large commercial countries can provide an initiative for big corporations to take larger steps in cutting emissions and investing in long-term projects for environment sustainability, can this provide a short-term initiative to Climate change while we wait for meaningful international change? Action seems to be a better move then waiting for cooperation amongst nations that may not resolve issues that must be fixed in a timely manner. Although it is much easier to focus on the economy or constituents then to foster a binding treaty, politicians must start to focus on the daily effects of climate change and look for a way to change the future. Continue reading Climate change intiatives for today: a present to your grandchildren- Kate Cornman
According to the Washington Post’s article written by Joshua Tucker, the primary impediment to establishing a more rigid international institution to combat climate change is neither a domestic or an international problem, but an incentive problem. Indeed, science has been pointing out to the looming hazards of climate change for some time. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, from 1900 to 2008, emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels have increased alarmingly by over 16 times. Tucker mentions that according to a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it is not too late to change our gloomy future: if we act drastically within the next decades and cut emission levels we can still avoid the damages of climate change. However, Tucker is less hopeful that the world will choose to do so. Continue reading Climate Change: An Incentive Problem