Since the 1980s, climate change has moved from being a minor, mostly scientific matter in the affairs of states to being the most prominent issue in global environmental politics. It is now a major concern of governments, international organizations, industry, nongovernmental organizations, and a growing number of people around the world. As climate change has become better understood and more prominent in the media and public discourse, so too have predictions of its adverse impacts on nature and societies. Indeed, many of the effects are being felt today. Governments have negotiated agreements to study climate change and, in the case of many developed countries, to start limiting the pollution that causes it. However, the responses of states to the problem have failed to keep up with the increasing pace of climate change; they are grossly inadequate. In this chapter I first summarize some of the official scientific findings on the causes and impacts of climate change before describing how governments have created a regime of international agreements and ongoing diplomatic negotiations aimed at tackling the problem. I then discuss several major themes in the global politics of climate change; the underlying driving force of material consumption, the important role of transnational actors, security concerns associated with climate change, and some of the unavoidable questions of justice that arise from it. Copyright © 2011 Editorial selection and matter, Gabriela Kütting; individual chapters, the contributors.
|Title of host publication||Global Environmental Politics: concepts, theories and case studies|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon, Oxon|
|ISBN (Print)||9780415777933, 0415777933, 9780415777940, 0415777941, 9780203844564, 0203844564|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|