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Understanding climate change negotiations: an International Relations perspective

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Otto, Daniel

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Corporate Editor Universidade Aberta
Abstract The annual Conference of Parties (COP) of the Framework Convention on Climate Change takes place since the establishment of the Berlin Mandate in 1995. Since then the on-going climate change negotiations have produced little progress in preventing the ultimate objective of the Framework Convention that is to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Mainly responsible are three overarching conflicts, which have overshadowed all effort for an effective agreement so far. While the first and second conflict is within the developing and within the developed countries, the third conflict is between developing and developed countries. The latter conflict debates the question of how much and by whom emissions should be reduced in the future. The discipline of international relations provides two theoretical perspectives to predict the success of this year´s climate change negotiations. Whereas Realism perceives power to be the main reference for explaining international cooperation, constructivism puts the recognition of material as well as ideational factors in the centre of observation. If applied on the different negotiation parties, the realist perspective provides a far more pessimistic outlook for a successful agreement than constructivism.
Keywords climate change; climate protection; international cooperation; international relations; international politics; neorealism; developing country; industrial nation
Classification Ecology, Environment; International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Collection Title "The heat is up!" - Cross-disciplinary perspectives on climate change
Editor Otto, Daniel; Caiero, Sandra; Nicolau, Paula Bacelar; Becker, Sara
Document language English
Publication Year 2016
City Lisbon
Page/Pages 9 p.
Status Published Version; not reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-ShareAlike