Global Warming and International Politics
Global Warming and International Politics PSC 1003
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Caroline Jok on Thursday November 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PSC 1003 at George Washington University taught by Farrell, H in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Introduction to International Politics in Political Science at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 11/19/15
Introduction to International politics Professor Henry Farrell 17 November 2015 Global Warming Continued: Development of technologies: Focus on development of mitigation technologies o Aim to lower the costs of adaptation for individual countries – without necessarily solving overall problem o Likely leakage of technologies from on country to another providing benefits But far from a complete solution Large scale geoengineering poses other ethical challenges. Policy is still in play! Conclusions: Global warming is an extraordinarily thorny problem Science says that it is real Clear consequences for states Yet difficulty finding solutions Policy Responses to Global Warming: Policy Responses to Global warming UN Negotiations led 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 o use of various permit schemes, emission trading etc. o cap and trade US is not a party to the agreement (although it is a signatory) Nonindustrialized countries can receive benefits from trading offsets. Problem with Kyoto Protocol Protocol is grossly under sufficient to solve problem o Helps around edges in ensuring it is not quite as bad as it could be. o Process arguments Does not impose obligations on the Less Developed Countries o China fast catching up as a major emitter of Greenhouse Gasses. Further UNFCCC Meetings UN Framework Convention on climate change continues to meet 2009 Copenhagen meeting supposed to replace Kyoto with a more ambitious framework Paris Negotiations (the next step) December – next effort to build a deal in regards to global environment o US has said “no treaty” o EU wants a legally binding agreement Earlier nonbinding agreement between US and China o Although China has underreported coal plants – Can they be trusted? Fights within US over whether its proposed targets (cutting emissions) are feasible Belief among climate scientists that it’s not nearly enough Not clear that there will be progress on burden sharing at Paris o India resisting clear targets Realism and Self Help Given lack of shared interests and hierarchical authority, would suggest that most plausible response is selfhelp o Buckpassing – everyone wants other states to bear the costs (US v. China) o Not going to agree on who should pay the cost – there is no higher authority to come up with a solution. States will look to mitigate problems for themselves But will also likely exacerbate collective problem through individual actions. Development of technologies Focus on development of mitigation technologies Aim to lower costs of adaptation for individual countries without necessarily solving overall problem Possible wars over global warming with the leaking of technologies Global warming and liberal institutionalism Liberal institutionalists’ 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 a big problem Not one binding solution – but a set of varied forms of cooperation. Less ambitious Regime Would help deal with the problem 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 the best that can be achieved so that you are not at the mercy of your least cooperative state. Liberal institutionalism and uncertainty Liberal institutionalists imply that reduction of uncertainty is important o Continued development of scientific knowledge But also push for greater flexibility in dealing with uncertainty o Can adapt more quickly to changing needs and new technology o Can allow loose coupling between different schemes. Constructivists and global warming solutions Point to need to change collective understandings of what global warming is and how to tackle it. These collective understandings are shaped by social processes Not good at coming up with solutions… Antiglobal warming coalition is relatively fixed on. May become more malleable as evidence accumulates arguable moving in the wrong direction) Opinion Book: The Greatest Hoax: U.S. Senator James Inhofe Lack of direct policy prescriptions 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. Conclusions: Global warming is an extraordinarily thorny problem Each of these approaches helps explain why But none offers a very satisfactory way forward Most optimistic is liberal institutionalism – but even here, optimism is heavily qualified.
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