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International institutions are prevalent in world politics. More than a thousand multilateral treaties are in place just to protect the environment alone, and there are many more. And yet, it is also clear that these institutions do not operate in a void but are enmeshed in larger, highly complex webs of governance arrangements. This compelling book conceptualizes these broader structures as the “architectures” of global governance. Here, over 40 international relations scholars offer an authoritative synthesis of a decade of research on global governance architectures with an empirical focus on protecting the environment and vital earth systems. They investigate the structural intricacies of earth system governance and explain how global architectures enable or hinder individual institutions and their overall effectiveness. The book offers much-needed conceptual clarity about key building blocks and structures of complex governance architectures, charts detailed directions for new research, and provides analytical groundwork for policy reform.
Coined barely two decades ago, the Anthropocene has become one of the most influential and controversial terms in environmental policy. Yet it remains an ambivalent and contested formulation, giving rise to a multitude of unexpected, and often uncomfortable, conversations. This book traces in detail a broad variety of such 'Anthropocene encounters': in science, philosophy and literary fiction. It asks what it means to 'think green' in a time when nature no longer offers a stable backdrop to political analysis. Do familiar political categories and concepts, such as democracy, justice, power and time, hold when confronted with a world radically transformed by humans? The book responds by inviting more radical political thought, plural forms of engagement, and extended ethical commitments, making it a fascinating and timely volume for graduate students and researchers working in earth system governance, environmental politics and studies of the Anthropocene.
This book is the result of a collective effort of more than two dozen scientists, all sharing an interest in finding effective solutions to the imminent crisis of global warming and large-scale alterations of the Earth system. Our common goal was to develop new ideas and insights that may assist negotiations of new global agreements on global climate governance for the period after 2012, when the current commitment period under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change expires.
Many have described the creation of a stable long-term architecture for global climate governance as one of the largest political challenges of our time, with tremendous implications for most areas of human life. These implications range from far-reaching reforms in the richer industrialized countries with high per capita emissions of greenhouse gases to the parallel quest of the many poorer societies in the developing world to lift the living standards and eradicate poverty while limiting growth in greenhouse gas emissions to the extent possible. While mitigation of global warming must have centre stage in current policies to prevent further build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it is also vital to prepare for a world that may be substantially warmer than today due to failed or belated climate policies in the past. This book thus addresses both governance for mitigation and governance for adaptation, and, in particular, possible synergies and conflicts between both policy objectives.
The research documented in this volume has been part of a larger research programme on Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies: Supporting European Climate Policy (the ADAM Project). The ADAM Project lasted from 2006 to 2009 and was funded as an ‘integrated project’ by a major grant from the European Commission under its sixth framework research programme (Global Change and Ecosystem Priority, contract No. 018476). In total, more than 100 researchers from 26 institutes in Europe, India and China were part of the ADAM Project at one stage.
Future historians might remember the period 2009–2012 as a turning point in the political response to global warming and climate change. The 1980s were a time of agenda-setting in which climate change became accepted as a political problem; the 1990s saw the first institutionalization through adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 and its Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The 2000s marked the period of ratification of the protocol and further institutionalization of its means of implementation. Yet the Kyoto Protocol was merely a first step, and its core commitments expire in 2012. Even full compliance with the Kyoto agreement will not prevent ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’ – the overall objective of the climate convention. Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are rising, while drastic reductions of emissions are needed according to current scientific consensus (IPCC 2007).
These years are thus a crucial moment for human societies to change current economic, social and political development paths and to embark on a transition to new ways of production and consumption that emit less carbon – or to adapt to a world that is substantially warmer and hence different from the world that human and natural systems have been adapted to so far. At the planetary level, this is the quest for long-term, stable and effective ‘global governance’. The term governance derives from the Greek word for navigating, and this challenge of turning around the wheel and charting a new course is indeed what is at stake in current negotiations on climate change.
An assessment of policy options for future global climate governance, written by a team of leading experts from the European Union and developing countries. Global climate governance is at a crossroads. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was merely a first step, and its core commitments expire in 2012. This book addresses three questions which will be central to any new climate agreement. What is the most effective overall legal and institutional architecture for successful and equitable climate politics? What role should non-state actors play, including multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, public–private partnerships and market mechanisms in general? How can we deal with the growing challenge of adapting our existing institutions to a substantially warmer world? This important resource offers policy practitioners in-depth qualitative and quantitative assessments of the costs and benefits of various policy options, and also offers academics from wide-ranging disciplines insight into innovative interdisciplinary approaches towards international climate negotiations.