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PSC 1003; Lecture 15

by: Eleanor Parry

PSC 1003; Lecture 15 PSC 1003

Eleanor Parry
GPA 3.81

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About this Document

These notes cover what was in lecture 15
Introduction to International Politics
Farrell, H
Class Notes
International Politics; Political Science
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Eleanor Parry on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 1003 at George Washington University taught by Farrell, H in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Introduction to International Politics in Political Science at George Washington University.


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Date Created: 02/12/16
Global Warming and IR Theory Global Warming • Broad scientific consensus that global warming is a major problem. • Yet little in the war of decisive international action. • Kyoto Protocol - imposed relatively weak requirements on governments. • Copenhagen Summit - failed to produce a serious agreement. • Current negotiations - not going to produce a legally binding treaty. • Why is climate change difficult? Broad Scientific Consensus Climate scientists agree: 1. That global warming is real. 2. That it is being accelerated by human activity. 3. That it will have substantial, and perhaps catastrophic consequences for human societies. A. Increasing sea levels B. More extreme weather events Areas of Dispute • Likely consequences of greater global warming are uncertain. • It is clear tat there is a very substantial likelihood of serious changes given current patterns of production. • Some dispute as to likelihood of downside risk of catastrophic changes. Political Consequences • Large cross border migration, leading to greater international instability. • More within country migrate, leading to greater domestic instability. • Possibility of increased war over resources. • Greater exposure to disease. • Possible opening up of Antartica States will Have different interests over global warming • Worst off- states in the global south. ◦ Tend to be more vulnerable - and also have fewer resources. ◦ Specific problems for china and India • Less affected - advanced industrialized democracies. ◦ In more temperate climates; also have more resources to adapt. • Better off - under some scenarios, Russia. ◦ Siberia and Arctic may open up. • Unsurprising that states differ. Paying for Global Warming • Clashes of interest over whether to do something/how much are reinforced by clashes over who should pay. • Richest countries are those least affected by it. • Ethical arguments over whether rich countries should pay more. • But often trumped by national interest. Historical Legacy • Global warming - likely to be accelerated by fossil fuel use by poor countries. ◦ But also product of industrialization of richer countries. • Should rich countries help poorer countries move to mitigation technologies? Question of the Future • Global warming mot likely to hurt future generations. • How do we measure their welfare. ◦ Complex ethical and economic questions. • Should we prioritize todays poor over tomorrows citizens of currently poor countries. ◦ Lomborg approach but Chalmer rejoinder. Development of Technologies • Focus on development of mitigation technologies. ◦ Aim to lower the costs of adaption for individual countries. ◦ Likely leakage of technologies fro one country to another providing benefits. • But far from complete solution. • Large scale geo-engineering poses other ethical challenged. Conclusions • Global warming an extraordinarily thorny problem. • Scientists say its real. • Clear consequence for states. • Difficult to identify workable solutions. • Most 'optimistic' is liberal institutionalism Policy Responses to Global Warming Policy responses to global warming • UN negotiations let to signing of Kyoto Protocol to Un framework agreement. • Aimed at stabilizing emissions of greenhouse gases, increasing absorption. • 37 industrialized countries committed themselves to reduce greenhouse gases. • US is not a party to the agreement. • Non industrialized countries can receive benefits from trading/offsets. Problems with Kyoto Protocol • Protocol is grossly under sufficient to solve problem. ◦ Helps around edges. ◦ Process arguments. • Does not impose obligations on less developed countries. ◦ China Further UNFCC Meetings • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change continues to meet. • 2009 Copenhagen meeting supposed to replace Kyoto with a more ambitious framework incorporating responsibilities for LDCs. ◦ Failed in this objective ◦ No binding force Paris Negotiations • December - next effort to build a deal. ◦ US said - no ttraty ◦ EU wants a legally binding document. • Earlier non-binding agreement between US and China. ◦ Although China underreporting. • Fights with US over whether its proposed targets. • Belief among climate scientists that its not nearly enough. • Not clear that there will be progress on burden sharing at Paris. ◦ India resisting Realism and Self Help • Given lack of shared interest and hierarchal authority, would suggest that most plausible response is self help. ◦ Buckpassing - everyone wants other states to bear costs. • States will look to mitigate problems for themselves. • But will also likely to exacerbate collective problem through individual actions. Development of Technologies • Focus on development of mitigation technologies. • Aim to lower costs of adaptation for individual countries. • Likely leakage of technologies from one country to another providing benefits. • But also increased security pressures as countries interests clash more. Global Warming and Liberal Institutionalism • Liberal institutionalizes skepticism about the current regime does not translate into prescription for self help. • Instead optimistic about how a regime of smaller institutions might help tackle problem. • Not one binding solution - but a set of varied forms of cooperation. Less Ambitious regime • Would help deal with problems of clashing interests. • Countries and other entities could pick and choose schemes that made sense given their goals and abilities. • May be relatively weak compared to overall binding instrument. • But may be best that can be achieved. Liberal Institutionalist and uncertainty • Liberal institutionalizes imply that reduction of uncertainty is important. ◦ Continued development of scientific knowledge. • But also push for greater flexibility in dealing with uncertainty. ◦ Can adapt more quickly to changing needs, and new technology. ◦ Can allow loose coupling between different schemes. Constructivists and Global Warming Solutions • Point to need to change collective understanding son what global warming is and how to tackle it. • These collective understandings are shaped by social processes. • Anti-Global warming coalition is relatively fixed now. May become more malleable as evidence accumulates. Lack of Direct Policy Prescriptions • But would point to need for greater work by coalitions. • And identification of ideational stress points in the system. • The extraordinary power of the US Senate. • The weakness of Chinese environmental protection. • Perhaps easier to build coalitions to change latter than former. Busby - After Copenhagen Difficulties: • Many actors Suggestions: • Smaller venue • Make climate change part of their budget Monitoring and Enforcement • Sovereignty China • Developing countries don't care about environment


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