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A Custom Concern of the People

There is a reason that the word “global” is in the term global climate change. This is a problem that ultimately impacts all citizens of Earth. Global climate change makes no distinction between political association or economic prosperity; everyone will be affected and everyone has a responsibility. The entire history of climate change study clearly denotes the international effort to answer scientific questions. From the first computer models to the IPCC reports, the threat of climate change has voided political boundaries and forced people to act as part of the global community. Researching climate change has created institutions such as the World Meteorological Organization  as well as produced several international conventions to help address this formidable problem.

One of the key issues that discussions regarding global climate change face is management of the problem. Many affluent and powerful countries such as the United States and the European Union will not suffer as severely as developing countries at the hands of climate change. Unfortunately, this also means that the affluent and powerful countries are far less likely to deal with this sticky situation; precisely the opposite of what should happen. While the economic implications of protecting several at-risk nations is a hefty task, it is socially unjust for the nations responsible for the current conditions to sit back and make other people clean it up or suffer the consequences.

It has been proven several times that “green” industry is economically viable. By practicing the “low hanging fruit” principle, or the idea that greenhouse gas reductions should be made where it will be cheapest and most effective, many large industrial firms will be more willing to support management efforts by international communities on climate change. This also plays into the global scale of climate change and the idea that, as discussed in  Governing Climate Change by Harriet Bulkeley and Peter Newell, the location a ton of carbon is produced has no bearing on where it will impact. In order to regulate and reduce climate change, all nations must cooperate. The Conference of Parties (COP) is a starting point to mitigating the consequences, however, the decisions reached in the COP discussions are slow to result in action. Many nations will suffer and the longer it takes to reform, the more drastic the reform will be and the less likely change will achieve the desired result. People must bite the bullet and accept change in order to continue producing and prospering in the future. COP meetings need to bring more resolute decisions to international policy and leading nations must carry out their duty and only through institutions such as this, on the global scale, can humanity hope to conquer this formidable opponent.


Works Cited

  Bulkeley, H., and P. Newell, 2010. Governing Climate Change. Routledge, New York.

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