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Green power and performance in global environmental governance

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Never, Babette

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Corporate Editor GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies - Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien
Abstract From 10 to 11 June 2013, the Global Green Growth Summit will take place in Seoul. Policymakers, international organizations and experts from various fi elds will once again discuss how the transformation toward a green economy and more sustainable development paths can be managed. Global environmental governance is characterized by a high number of international activities, but actual environmental outcomes vary. The ability to develop green political and economic power that leads to bett er environmental performance is not restricted to industrialized countries anymore. China, South Korea, Brazil and India are slowly catching up, while some small developing nations have also begun to generate power for a green change. The heterogeneous behavior of the emerging economies undermines their green power in central environmental regimes. This heterogeneity is refl ected in their differing development of green power outside of the internationally negotiated treaties. "Green power" refers to the ability to successfully combine technological capabilities, environmental innovations, political and economic power. None of the central actors currently possess it in a way that positions them as leaders in smart global environmental governance. In the climate negotiations, China and the United States are in a balance of power that is negative for the environment. China has surpassed the United States in the use of clean technology. However, it still lags behind in achieving bett er environmental outcomes. Costa Rica, Norway and Ecuador have accumulated some green power in spite of their respective economic sizes, bolstering it with good environmental performance. Nonetheless, in the global distribution of power, this is hardly relevant. Neither Europe nor Germany currently uses its full green power potential. Both are restricted by hesitant behavior, a drop in new investments in clean technology and innovation as well as China’s structural power gain.
Keywords climate change; environmental policy; energy production; renewable energy; climate policy; international politics; sustainable development; new technology; newly industrializing countries; industrial nation
Classification Ecology, Environment; Special areas of Departmental Policy
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
City Hamburg
Page/Pages 8 p.
Series GIGA Focus International Edition, 6
ISSN 2196-3940
Status Published Version; not reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NoDerivs