Climate Change Politics

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Climate Change Politics – Notes

Kyoto Protocol –
* December 1997
* Signed by 168 countries
* First internationally legal binding target for the reduction of green house gas emissions * Target – cut green house gases by 12.5% based on the 1990 levels by 2012 * Emphasis on developed countries- developing nations, ie China and India – exempt from cuts * This protocol not enforced until 2005

* Largest undermining factor – USA failed to ratify the protocol * KEY as USA is responsible for a quarter of all green house gas emissions * Why – influence of political individuals. Clinton argued that the lack of emphasis on the role of developing countries on the issue of climate change would mean the senate would not ratify the protocol. * George W. Bush – climate change skeptic – questioned influence of humans on climate change – and so issue not addressed. * Obama – encouraged positive action towards tackling climate change – but little done. Only arrived to Copenhagen Summit on last day – and created a weak accord with only a few countries

The Bali Road Map –
* Known as the long term co operative action under the convention * Took place 2007
* Clear agenda of key issues to be negotiated up to 2009
* These issues included:

Action for adapting to the negative consequences of climate change, such as droughts and floods

Ways to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions

Ways to widely deploy climate-friendly technologies and financing both adaptation and mitigation measures.  Adaptation Fund. The fund will help developing countries cope with the impact of climate change, which includes flooding, droughts, heat waves and rises in sea level. It will be financed by the Clean Development Mechanism. It was agreed that adaptation should equal mitigation as a priority.

Break down of the “Berlin wall” between developing countries and developed countries, which means that developing countries need to do their share of reducing carbon emissions. South Africa was committed to contribute its fair share towards our common responsibility for the future.

* Issues – US, Japan + Canada opposed to the emissions goals * South Africa called on the USA to show increased leadership * Intensified rivalry between developed and developing world

Copenhagen-
* 2009
* Large build up & high expectations – earlier conferences had achieved little * Environmental groups + activists had built up public expectation+ taken part in civic lobbying – expectations were high * But – failed to deliver

* Countries representing their own national interests and economic goals ahead of international consensus * No agreements made
* Obama – a ‘no show’ until the last day – failed to act as the world’s hegemonic president – he struggled to provide any leadership * BUT – not a complete failure – the talks produced the Copenhagen accord * Accord between the USA, China, Brazil, India and South Africa * Was recognized by 193 nations

* Highlighted the need to limit global temperature rises to no more than 2 degrees above pre industrial levels * Accord also promised to deliver 30 bn USD to developing nations over the next three years & 100 bn USD a year by 2020 to help poor countries cope with the impacts of climate change – would become known as the Green Climate Fund * 30 bn USD was not raised – only reached 20 bn USD – half of which was provided by Japan – how money would be raised was unclear and so has been unsuccessful * Accord not legally binding – but – calls made across the world – note – Banki Moon

Durban –
* 2011
* 2 weeks of negotiations
* 195 parties to the UN climate change convention agreed on a road map * Idea proposed by EU
* Attempted to draw up legal framework for climate action by 2015 * Success – all countries, developed and developing – including China + USA – signed up to legally binding targets * BUT – still...
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