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Dickinson to Durban » Entries tagged with "Global climate change"

Baby Steps?

by Claire Tighe ’13 According to the UNFCCC website, the Cancún Agreement, resolved in Mexico at COP16 in 2010, accomplished quite a bit for the continued international efforts at mitigating and adapting to climate change. However, negotiations are by no means complete, and delegates at COP17 will have to continue these “baby” steps in the climate agreements. But are “baby steps” enough to solve climate change? As the online science resource Climate Action Tracker notes, “Emissions are at a historic high while actions are not.” The Cancún Agreements did manage to form “the largest collective effort the world has ever seen to reduce emisssions,” as well as “the most comprehensive package ever agree by Governments to help developing nations deal with climate change,” and a “timely schedule […] for keeping the global … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change, Key COP17 Issues, Summer Reading Responses

Cramped and Crowded

My favorite yoga teacher always jokes that the only way to get world leaders to agree on anything is to force them into doing hot yoga together. With yoga mats arranged only inches apart in a small studio heated to 98 degrees Fahrenheit, each state head would have to peacefully “negotiate” their space, attempting to stay fully conscious of their breathing and the future of the world as each sweats on the other. I could not help by remember this joke during our class simulation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change last week. Each group comprised of ten or so countries divided into negotiating blocs denoted by their economic status: “developed,” “developing,” and “other developing” (i.e. “least developed”). We represented a specific state, simultaneously functioning under a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change, Key COP17 Issues, Mosaic Action, Summer Reading Responses

Easy as pie?

“It is increasingly recognized that nation-states are increasingly limited in the degree to which they can directly effect emissions of (greenhouse gasses) and the ability of societies to adapt to climate change. While the language of international agreements often suggests that nation-states can act as containers for emissions of GHG– cutting up the global emissions pie into nation-sized pieces, setting targets and conducting emissions inventories– the GHG emitted within the boundaries of a nation-state are shaped by processes and actors operating across national boundaries…” by  -excerpt from “Governing Climate Change” by Peter Newell and Harriet Bulkeley Global climate change is a problem which is…well, global. On Earth, there is no easy way to divvy up the atmospheric commons into neat slices of pie for each nation-state to monitor and control for GHG emissions. As … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change

Rethinking the Nation State and its Role in Climate Governance

Global problems like global climate change are typically seen to require global solutions. And the actors typically seen to be responsible for these global problems are the nation-states that constitute the global system. Bulkeley and Newell challenge this assumption in their book Governing Climate Change, arguing against the view that “the nation-state is the only or necessarily most important unit of climate politics” (p. 4). While I certainly agree that a “nation-state” is an inadequate unit of analysis when construed simply as the sovereign government of a state, I prefer to rethink the understanding of the nation-state rather than discredit its importance. In support of their argument, Bulkeley and Newell demonstrate the need to expand the view of the nation-state, suggesting an alternative view of the state as “a dynamic system … Read entire article »

Filed under: Climate Change