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This chapter examines Australia’s engagement with the international politics of global climate change. It first provides an overview of the problem of global climate change and its likely effects, focusing on key complexities and dilemmas regarding climate change, and the evolution of the climate change regime through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. It then considers key drivers of climate diplomacy, from the ideology and foreign policy perspectives of different governments to the role of public opinion and the ebb and flow of international cooperation. It shows that Australia’s changing approach to climate change cooperation underscores the profound challenges for the climate change regime.

Chapter

This chapter examines the European Union's external environmental policy, with particular emphasis on the challenge faced by the EU in exercising leadership in global environmental governance and in the development of the climate change regime. It first considers the international dimension of the EU environmental policy as well as the issue of sustainable development before discussing the EU's efforts to lead the negotiation of an international climate regime up until the 2015 Paris conference. It then explores how the different energy interests of the member states have been accommodated in order to sustain European credibility. It also looks at the question of climate and energy security in the EU and concludes with an assessment of the factors that determine the success or failure of the EU in climate diplomacy, including those that relate to coordination and competence problems peculiar to the EU as a climate negotiator.

Chapter

Robyn Eckersley

This chapter examines how US foreign policy on environmental issues has evolved over a period of nearly five decades, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. It first considers the United States’ environmental multilateralism as well as environmental initiatives under Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama, and Donald Trump before discussing key trends and puzzles in US foreign environmental policy. It shows the United States as an environmental leader during the Cold War, but an environmental laggard in the post–Cold War period, with the Obama administration’s re-engagement in climate diplomacy as a significant exception. The chapter also explains how the larger trend of waning environmental leadership from the United States has occurred at the same time as international environmental problems, especially climate change, have increasingly moved from the periphery towards the centre of world politics.