Advertisement

Governing Climate Change Policy: From Scientific Obscurity to Foreign Policy Prominence

  • Jacob Park
Chapter

Abstract

For many years, climate change was a technical issue that only concerned a small number of scientists and policymakers.1 At the 1988 Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere (arguably the first important policy-oriented global climate change forum), the prime ministers of Canada and Norway proposed a global “law of the air” and called for the 20 percent reduction in global emissions of carbon dioxide by the year 2005. Even at that late date, the United States dismissed the importance of this conference by sending only a mid-level government representative. While the United States did not think that the Toronto meeting warranted a higher diplomatic presence, the delegations of some countries were headed by their respective prime ministers or presidents. When the concluding resolution of the Toronto meeting called for a fundamental reassessment of global priorities and responsibilities, William Nitze, then the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, argued that it “would be premature at the current moment to contemplate an international agreement that sets targets for greenhouse gases.”2

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 3.
    National Research Council, Reconciling Observations of Global Temperature Change (Washington, DC: National Research Council, 2000), <http://www. nap.edu /books/0309068916/html/>.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    Robert A. Dahl, Who Governs: Democracy and Power in an American City (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961).Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    “Bureaucratic politics” are an important factor in U.S. foreign policy. The Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies have played an important role in U.S. climate change policy. For a general discussion of the role of bureaucratic politics in US. foreign policy, see I. M. Destler, Presidents, Bureaucrats, and Foreign Policy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1972);Google Scholar
  4. Graham Allison, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (Boston: Little, Brown, 1971);Google Scholar
  5. and Morton Halperin, Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1974).Google Scholar
  6. For an excellent introduction of the regulatory politics of environmental policy, see Walter Rosenbaum, Environmental Politics and Policy (Washington, DC: CQ Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    David Apter and Louis Wolf Goodman, eds., The Multinational Corporation and Social Change (New York: Praeger, 1976).Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    Nazli Choucri, “Multinational Corporations and the Global Environment” in Global Accord: Environmental Challenges and International Responses, edited by Nazli Choucri (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993)Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    See American Petroleum Institute, Global Warming: The High Cost of the Kyoto Protocol (Washington, DC: API, 1998)Google Scholar
  10. and Economic Strategy Institute, The Global Climate Debate: Keeping the Economy Warm and the Planet Cool (Washington, DC: ESI, 1997).Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    See Alliance to Save Energy et al., Energy Innovations: A Prosperous Path to a Clean Environment (Washington DC: Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Tellus Institute, and Union of Concerned Scientists, 1997)Google Scholar
  12. and Union of Concerned Scientists and Tellus Institute, A Small Price to Pay: US Action to Curb Global Warming is Feasible and Affordable (Boston: UOCS and the Tellus Institute, 1998).Google Scholar
  13. 18.
    Jessica Matthews, “Power Shift,” Foreign Affairs, 76, 1 (1997): 50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 19.
    Paul Wapner, “Politics Beyond the State: Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics,” World Politics, 47 3 (1995): 312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 20.
    Kal Raustiala, “States, NGOs, and International Environmental Institutions,” International Studies Quarterly, 41 (1997): 719.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 24.
    Eugene Skolnikoff, “The Role of Science in Policy: The Climate Change Debate in the United States,” Environment, 41, 5 (1999): 19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 25.
    John Kingdon, Agenda, Alternatives, and Public Policies (New York: Harper Collins, 1995). For a general discussion of how policies get on the political agenda, refer to pp. 1–21.Google Scholar
  18. 27.
    Wayne Morrisey, Global Climate Change: A Concise History of Negotiations and Chronology of Major Activities Preceding the 1992 U.N. Framework Convention (Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 1999), <http://www.cnie.org/nle/clim-2.html>.Google Scholar
  19. 28.
    Norman Vig and Michael Kraft, eds., Environmental Policies in the 1990s (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1997).Google Scholar
  20. 43.
    Peter Trubowitz, Defining the National Interest: Conflict and Change in American Foreign Policy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  21. 45.
    As quoted in Eric Alterman, Who Speaks for the People: Why Democracy Matters in Foreign Policy (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Paul G. Harris 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob Park

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations