Climate Change: A Failure of Politics?
In 2015, the international community will be absorbed by four key multilateral processes: the sustainable development goals agenda, the next WTO ministerial meeting, an international summit on finance for development, and the UNFCCC climate summit. CIC Senior Fellow Alex Evans addressed the links and overlaps between these four processes in a talk entitled Quadruple or Quits, highlighting the fact that it will be impossible for countries to treat these processes as completely separate. The four tracks will most likely share the same general political climate, and the subject matter will certainly overlap. The issue of climate change in particular will be relevant beyond the UNFCCC talks, as it is pertinent to economic growth and sustainable development. The politics of climate change, both at global and local levels, will play no small role in how these four processes play out.
Last November, CIC was fortunate to host a discussion entitled Climate Change: A Failure of Politics? with John Ashton, a director at E3G and former Special Representative for Climate Change to the UK Foreign Secretary, and CIC Senior Fellow David Steven as part of a conference on the governance of strategic resources co-hosted by CIC, NYU Abu Dhabi, and The Brookings Institution. In a video of the event, Ashton and Steven discuss what it will take in concrete terms to slow climate change and how we might address the political challenges that impede progress. Climate change is a global issue, but if all politics is local then how can we affect change? How do we account for the variety of local political and cultural realities when negotiating climate change on a global level? This discussion provides insights useful to those negotiating on climate change at an international level as well as authorities attempting to address the issue on national and local levels.