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POLB81H3 Lecture Notes - Green Party, The Climate Group, Target Canada

Political Science
Course Code
M.Hoffmann- Universityof Toronto

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Accumulative exam
Multiple problems of environment \-> causes, impacts, perspectives that different
groups have on causes and impacts
diferent kinds of greenhouse emissions (future, past that matters)
per capita or absolute that counts?
Procuding goods that matter?
Climate change probably one of most complex issues because greenhouse
gases linked to so many aspects of our lives, different ways of conceiving the
product, series of rules to solve the problem
Two main governance approaches
Institutionalism -> All of global issues we looked at, intl community and
organizations set up multilateral solutions for climate change
Issue of global independence that states feel
What does climate change look like if we make a treaty?
What kind of problem is climate change from an institutional perspective?
Problem of multilateral cooperation because causes and effects are
distributed globally
An issue no govt can handle by itself, causes and effects found differently
everywhere. Insitutonalism perspective says you need to use tools of
multilateral cooperation to find solution
Climate change = emissions reductions
How much to cut?
Who will cut?
How will it be paid for?
Key definition of problem of climate change
Cut globally..problem is deciding on global target, how much globe should
cut, how to distribute those cuts, how will it be paid for. Key subject since
What kind of a problem is climate change is
Problem with adaptation as well since we are seeing effects of climate change
Who’s affected and responsiblility? (adaptation)
The History of Climate Change Negotiation (video. Youtube)
2nd slide
Building the Climate Change Regime

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late 1980s early 1990s, climae change got on intenational agenda (potential
problem). Knew about greenhouse effects before, physics of notion that
increasing carbon dioxide leads to warming up Earth.
To get on international agenda, UN in 1989 set up IPCC (body intended to do
and has done in 20 plus years is aggregate, put together the best and most
cutting edge science. Gather up all studies of climate change, causes effects
anad policies/solutions and summarize for policymakers. Summarize it for
negotiating, understand scientific base of it.
First report came out in 1990, IPCC
Tells us what we know about climate change
Negotiation stages got to think about in three ways
Structure: universal negotiations
From very beginning, entire UN membership participates
Consensus rules are in place (doesn’t mean that only one country can stop
everything, but means that goal of all of this is to seek consensus. Not
something that just China and US can agree on).
Start of negotiations of UNFCCC
North-North debates (Europe and US)
EU wanted first agreement to have binding reductions agreement (cut by x
percent greenhouse gas emissions). US didn’t want binding reductions
agreement. Differing understanding of what should be in the treaty
Differing views because of domestic politics, governmental institutions,
green parties more represented in governments in EU than US.
Different levels of fossil fuels usage, US more dependent on fossil fuels than
EU because of transportation system, energy systems (coal dependent), EU
varies and diverse
North-South debate (historical responsibility, concerned about development.
Burning fossil fuels is only way to develop. You all caused this problem).
Same arguments, North trying to get South to cut down
South-South debates (large developing countries, OPEC, small island
Large development countries focused on their development, didn’t want to
take any restrictions that would slow down their economic growth. Prioritize
OPEC - if we do climate governance, or treaty in a way that really reduces
greenhouse, their entire economic model is down (ultimate goal is
decarbonate them)
Small island states/LDCs more than any other, see it as an existential
threat, wiping them off the map (physically). Pushing for climate change
US agreed to non-binding target of stabilizing climate and greenhouse
Not a legally binding
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