"Climate change is arguably one of the most pressing problems facing the global community. While most nations agree that climate change is occurring and is largely the result of humans' reliance on fossil fuels, managing a changing global climate is an impressive challenge. Underlying this challenge is the fact that nations are sovereign, and thus governed by their own rules and regulations. Sovereignty requires that nations address global problems, like climate change, through voluntary institutions typically referred to as international environmental agreements (IEAs). This book examines the challenges of sustaining meaningful cooperation among countries striving to manage global climate change through international environmental agreements. The first part of the book looks backwards to learn from climate diplomacy's past experience concerning the UNFCCC, the Kyoto protocol, and the Asia-Pacific Partnership. It considers the political process of international climate negotiations, provides critiques of existing climate agreements and also includes analyses of climate policy for large carbon-emitting countries (e.g., United States and China). It analyzes issues such as the strengths and weaknesses of the Kyoto protocol and its enforcement system, the rise and decline of the Asia-Pacific Partnership, the record of international and regional emissions trading, the experience with the UN track for climate negotiations, and the conditions under which unilateral measures by one or a few countries might encourage others to follow suit. The second part explores how future climate agreements can be improved based on the lessons of the past. This part presents and discusses ideas for a new and more effective international architecture for combating climate change. It analyses the relative merits of top-down and bottom-up agreements, considers the potential of sectoral agreements and technology agreements to constrain emissions, and examines theoretically and empirically various institutions for encouraging participation and compliance in a future climate agreement. Finally, it considers the ups and downs both of the UN negotiation track and of other possible forums for climate diplomacy. Through the perspectives of leading international scholars from multiple disciplines, readers of the book will gain an understanding of how agreements are negotiated, the strength and weaknesses of previous climate agreements and how a more effective future climate agreement can be designed. "--
Abingdon, Oxon :
Routledge advances in climate change research.
Includes bibliographical references and index.