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Book

Cover The Politics of the Earth
This book provides an accessible introduction to environmental politics through a powerful, discourse-centred approach which analyzes how environmental affairs are constructed and interpreted through language. It recounts developments beginning with the arrival of environmental crisis in the late 1960s, which yielded dire warnings about global shortages and ecological collapse. It moves through subsequent decades to the Paris Agreement on climate change, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the anti-environmental backlash of denial and “Gray Radicalism”. The book develops an innovative approach to understanding contemporary environmental discourses, covering ecological limits and planetary boundaries, pragmatic problem-solving, sustainability, ecological modernization, and green radicalism, as well as radical anti-environmentalism. It analyzes key developments in environmental affairs alongside many examples that illustrate how discourses shape past and current debates on the environment. It concludes by examining the radical implications of the Anthropocene concept.

Chapter

Cover Poverty and Development

10. Environmental Degradation and Sustainability  

Kathryn Hochstetler

This chapter studies the rise of global environmental concern, identifying major events and debates as they unfolded. Much human economic activity can be described as primary commodity production or manufacturing. Each of these has a potentially negative impact on the environment. The chapter then looks at the 'environmentalism of the poor', which tends to be based on material survival needs rather than post-material values. It also summarizes two discourses on the causes of sustainability and unsustainability. The Global Environmental Management discourse looks for top-down interventions to come from states or market actors, viewing local populations as the cause of much environmental damage. The People-Centred discourse reverses the analysis, arguing that local populations are often able to achieve long-term sustainability in their communities until outside actors like states and market actors disrupt those relations.

Book

Cover Poverty and Development

Edited by Tim Allen and Alan Thomas

Poverty & Development in the 21st Century provides an updated, interdisciplinary overview of one of the world's most complex and pressing social problems. The book analyses and assesses key questions faced by practitioners and policy makers, ranging from what potential solutions to world poverty are open to us to what form development should take and whether it is compatible with environmental sustainability. This third edition considers the complex causes of global poverty and inequality, introducing major development issues that include hunger, disease, the threat of authoritarian populism, the refugee crisis, and environmental degradation. Three new chapters illustrate the impact of climate, refugee and health crises on development by drawing on accounts of lived experience to explore the real-world implications of theory.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

23. The Environment  

John Barry and Kerri Woods

This chapter examines the ways that environmental issues affect human rights and the relevance of human rights to environmental campaigns. It also evaluates proposals for extending human rights to cover environmental rights, rights for future generations, and rights for some non-human animals. The chapter begins with a discussion of the relationship between human rights and the environment, along with the notion that all persons have ‘environmental human rights’. It then analyses the impact of the environment on human security and its implications for human rights issues before considering case studies that illustrate how environmental issues directly impact on the human rights of the so-called environmental refugees, who are displaced from lands by the threat of climate change and also by development projects. Finally, the chapter describes the link between human rights and environmental sustainability.

Chapter

Cover International Relations and the European Union

10. The Challenge of the Environment, Energy, and Climate Change  

John Vogler

This chapter examines the European Union’s (EU’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

Cover International Relations and the European Union

12. The Challenge of the Environment, Energy, and Climate Change  

John Vogler

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

Cover The Politics of the Earth

10. New Society  

Green Politics

The more political dimension of green radicalism analyzed in this chapter believes that ecological limits and boundaries can only be confronted, and the path to a better society charted, though political activism and thoroughgoing change in dominant institutions and practices. It finds its most conventional form of organization in green political parties that have been part of the electoral landscape since the 1980s, and that have in several countries (especially in Europe) joined governing coalitions and provided government ministers. However, social movements such as Occupy, Extinction Rebellion, Transition Initiatives, and those for environmental justice and sustainable materialism matter just as much. Movements for global environmental justice and the environmentalism of the global poor, and radical summits, have taken radical green politics to different parts of the world and to the global stage. An eco-anarchist disposition is associated with social ecology, and some radicals seek to link green politics and socialism. Green radicalism takes on economics in “doughnut economics” and proposals for a “Green New Deal”.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

14. The Political Economy of the Environment  

Peter Dauvergne

This chapter assesses the global political economy of the environment. The growth of the world economy is transforming the Earth's environment. Nothing is particularly controversial about this statement. Yet, sharp disagreements arise over the nature of this transformation. Is the globalization of capitalism a force of progress and environmental solutions? Or is it a cause of the current global environmental crisis? The chapter addresses these questions by examining the debates around some of the most contentious issues at the core of economic globalization and the environment: economic growth, production, and consumption; trade; and transnational investment. It begins with a glance at the general arguments about how the global political economy affects the global environment. The chapter then traces the history of global environmentalism — in particular, the emergence of international environmental institutions with the norm of sustainable development. It also evaluates the effectiveness of North–South environmental financing and international environmental regimes.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

24. Environmental Policy  

Viviane Gravey, Andrew Jordan, and David Benson

Despite its very strong economic roots, the European Union has nonetheless become an international leader in environmental protection and sustainable development policy. Environmental concerns have consequently shifted from being a marginal aspect of the European integration process to one that routinely grabs news headlines and, unlike many other EU policy areas, generates relatively strong political support from EU citizens. In the past, these policies, which now impinge on most sectors and areas of the economy, have proven resilient to economic and deregulatory pressures. This chapter documents and explores the reasons behind the relatively rapid transformation in the EU’s governing capabilities in this policy area, explores the main dynamics of policy-making from different analytical perspectives, and explores the impact of challenges such as climate change, Brexit, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of International Law

6. Global environmental governance and climate change  

This chapter focuses on the intersection of law and politics in global environmental governance. A key characteristic of global environmental governance is its fragmentation. The regulatory landscape is populated by a variety of hard and soft law regimes, institutions, processes, and actors, which address particular environmental challenges, or address them in particular ways. Yet there are core principles that are common to many of these regimes, including the precautionary principle, the prevention principle, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and the concept of sustainable development. The chapter then turns to an in-depth analysis of global climate change governance. It traces the evolution of climate change governance from the creation of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1994 to the present, focusing on the major legal-institutional milestones of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement. Finally, the chapter returns to the problem of fragmentation, considering recent attempts to bring greater unity and coherence to global environmental governance.