Political Science 3314E Terms. docx

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 3314E
Radoslav Dimitrov

I. Durban Platform for Action:  This outcome document was released on December 10, 2011 at the 17th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa.The meeting resulted in the decision to begin forging a new treaty next year, to be completed by 2015 and coming into effect by 2020. A new climate fund, the "Green Climate Fund" was established, and the EU and a number of other countries agreed to emissions cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.  At the Durban conference, Australia dramatically changed their position and made their goals as ambitious as Europe  Pledged to decrease their emissions by 80% after having a lot of success with their domestic policies on environmental policies Durban, South Africa 2011  Marked a historic milestone with the change in position of one particular country, and a very important one o China o China has been ‘sort of a member’ of the developing countries, but their views have been that action should be in the West o In Durban, for the first time they implied they would go under an international treaty o They made an important announcement in front of media with 5 things they would need in order to sign onto a global treaty o A negotiation tacticThey were saying we will, only if o A representative from the EU: “This could be the big breakthrough”  As China became more flexible, India became the most hardline country among BASICS o Their position was more rigid, because they would make demands that were completely unrealistic o E.g. They demanded newly developed technologies made in the West be made available to India, with no cost, so that they could have clean energy as well o They also wanted intellectual property rights to this new technology, which is really unheard of o Who is responsible for the failure of negotiations though?  The Western countries were always giving the developing countries new technology and trying to help, and up until Copenhagen, nothing was given in return  In the stretch of 5 years, there is an incredible imbalance in how many concessions the West has made (except North America), in comparison to the developing countries  In the West however, there is also imbalanceThis was made very clear when Canada decided to remove itself from the Kyoto Protocol  Canada leaves the Kyoto Protocol The news broke right before people were heading to Durban o Canada came under a lot of fire at Durban, but this was nothing new because every since 2008/2009, Canada was clearly the one country in the West whose policies were non-existence  Debating the Russian proposal o They were quite active in Durban o They tabled a proposal that essentially said that in the future agreement, we should remove the distinction between developing and developed countries This was informally known as the Firewall proposal  Wanted to remove the distinction because in their mind, emissions are emissions o They were essentially walking on eggshells  In the middle of the second week, the ministers of high profile countries arrived and this is when it became very interesting o They basically said we cannot continue, and we need to reach an agreement on the big picture (cannot be focusing on brackets and sub text) o They switched gears and wanted to come up with a principle agreement that would save the future of the planet o Political elites are way ahead of the game than normal citizensThey know what needs to be done  Durban Outcomes o The Chair’s proposaltext that was proposed at the Durban Conference basically has nothing written on it  We stop negotiations  We come back a year later, we restart negotiations and we get a new deadline and mandate, and negotiate a treaty that will hold after 2020  Essentially they are saying, we quit until 2020  Only 3 countries expressed support for the documentCanada, United States, and Australia  China and India were VERY mad that Canada had left the Kyoto Protocol and released statements through plenary stating how angry they wereEven using “Canada” throughout their speech which normally doesn’t happen  A lot of coverage after the conference was not how China had agreed to a global treaty, but the fact that Canada had withdrawn from the Kyoto protocol o Extension of the Kyoto protocol  To continue this protocol through a second commitment period o Launch of the Green Climate Fund Kyoto 2  Length of period decided in Doha: 2013-2020  Bottom-Up approach o Instead of formulating targets and enshrining them in the treaty, every country decides for itself what it wants to do o Formulated domestically depending on what that country thinks is feasible o The numbers are then sent internationally and announced  Voluntary individual targets o They are voluntary, but once they are formulated they become a legal obligation  The text “invites parties” to submit QELRO numbers  Canada, Japan, and Russia are officially out of the second commitment period Negotiating Mandate  Negotiations on a new global agreement covering all major emitters o Always a debate on whether to split the West and developing, however they decided on one  They did not decide to stop negotiations, like how the document suggested  Deadline 2015 o Deadline for reaching an agreement, however, it would only apply for action after 2020  Prospective post-2020 agreement  End product of negotiations?  “ Also decides to launch a process to develop, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the UNFCCC applicable to all parties, through a subsidiary body under the convention hereby established and to be known as the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban platform for Enhanced action.”  The deal made in Durban doesn’t necessarily lock the path for a global international treaty Did the UN Fail? Green Climate Fund  Legal entity: Fully independent Secretariat  Board of 24: half from developing countries  Decision-making procedure: consensus  No 100 billion mentioned  Interim committee under both GEF and UNFCCC...but in Bonn  Financial commitments (Pledges for 2010-2012) o Canadan/a o EU10.7 billion o Japan11 billion o Norway10.5 billion o Russia200 million o USA3.7 billion Ramifications  Global treaty delayed at least 10 years  The continuation of the Kyoto protocol was a big step, and Kyoto 2 is seen as a transitional period  Few expectations for change until 2015  Fundamental disagreement on global approach to climate policy  Major obstacle: The UN consensus requirement II. Economic implications of global climate policy :  Finance:
  Economic impact: 
Under and BAU scenario, climate change can reduce global GDP by 5-20% each year. 
The World Bank calculates global adaptation costs at 75–100 billion per year between 2010 and 2050 o The World Bank estimates the costs of adapting to a 2-degree temperature rise at 75–100 billion dollars per year between 2010 and 2050. 
 o Climate mitigation policies in developing countries alone require 140 to 175 billion dollars per year in the next 20 years (World Bank, 2010). o 
All industrialized countries endorsed an estimate by the European Union to provide 100 billion per year by 2020. 
 o Least developed countries suggest at least 1.5 percent of GDP that is additional to official development assistance while the ALBA group suggested financial contributions by developed countries of 6 percent of their GDP. o 
Apart from the level of funding, countries also debate sources of funding: market mechanisms and private investment (as preferred by developed countries) or public funds (advocated by developing countries).
 o Proposals include: a global carbon tax around $2/tonne (Switzerland); auction of emission allowances to raise revenue (Norway); and a Green Fund financed through assessed contributions by developed countries (Mexico). 
 o The third debate is on the “chicken-or-egg” question of timing: whether policy actions by developing countries are contingent on prior Western funding, or whether funding is offered after actual policy development.  Economic Benefits: EU o We have to remember that once EU was in the position of Canada and the US and were hesitant to negotiate climate policies; but they believe they can profit from climate change o They think cutting emissions is good for their economy, diametrically opposite thinking of what you hear from other countries, which is cutting emissions is bad for economies o Today in Europe, they have created 3.4 million jobs in the eco- industry sectors o The economic turnover is 227 billion euros, and increasing o Oil and gas import reduction by 50 billion Euro per year o One million new jobs in renewable energy industries o Euro calculated they can save 100 billion euros per year from energy efficiency, in addition to the 50 billion of oil and gas European Roadmap 2011  Roadmap to a lower-carbon economy  Emissions reductions of 80-95% by 2050  The cost of this would be 270 billion euro/year  Profit would be 175-320 billion euro/year  Costs  Financial benefits  Health care and political benefits A Historic Threshold  The future modernity: low-carbon economy  Global business race  Climate policy for profit: Integration of economic and environmental interests III. Canada’s climate and energy policy Regime:  Canada’s Policy o Emissions grow by 11% by 1995, 19% by 2000, 24% by 2003, and 30% by 2008  Canada’s Oil o Total oil production: 2.7 million barrels/day in 2008 mostly coming from Alberta o Second largest known reserves after Saudi Arabia o Oil sands cover 140,000 square kilometers o Majority of oil sands production from foreign firms o The lowest royalty fees in the world o Clear and systematic lack of Canada’s public involvement IV. Procedural obstacles to regime creation  Procedural obstacles inherent in international environmental negotiations. o Time lag  It is neither a speedy nor easy process to create and implement strong global environmental policy.  The common practice of starting with a framework convention and adopting subsequent protocols adds even more time.  To have an impact on the environmental problem, the implementation and revisions phases must occur over a sufficient length of time. o Lowest common denominator problems  Created by veto states  All states are sovereign entities, they can choose whether to job a global environmental agreement but because active participation by many countries is needed, the countries most interested often need support of those who are less interested.  An environmental treaty can only be as strong as its least cooperative state allows it to be.  The regimes overall effectiveness is weakened by the compromises made in persuading these disinterested states to participate. V. Political obstacles to regime creation (Pamela Chasek  Global Environmental Politics, Chapter 6)  Systemic or structural obstacles that stem from the structure of the global economic system. o Some impediments result from inherent elements of the global political, ecological, legal and economic systems. o One of the broadest is the anarchical structure of international politics.  Anarchy = the absence of hierarchy.  This makes it hard to achieve international cooperation because states have a self help attitude. o The pressure that the system structure places on state actors can make it difficult to create strong, effective environmental regimes.  Strong states sometimes dictate terms to weaker states.  States worry that other countries might face fewer costs from an agreement (despite both benefitting environmentally) or that others might gain more economically/politically.  Ex. Bush Administration expressed concern for impacts with regard to climate change arguing that the US would suffer competitively if it reduced GHGs and China did not. o States can fail to agree when some fear others might “double cross” them by not fulfilling regime obligations or pa
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