international agreements

  • How successful have international agreements on limiting greenhouse  gases been in general (e.g., why was the Montreal Protocol of 1987 a  success, whereas the ability to cap global greenhouse gas emissions by  binding treaty has met with less success?)?

As it pertains to the success of the Montreal Protocol, the Agreement  signed by the attendees may have been executed out of appeasement more  than implementation of a plan to make a difference. Public scrutiny and a  lack of concern associated with ozone depletion risk may have been the  vehicle driving the Helsinki meeting. The Agreement may have also  temporarily pacified those accountable and redirected sanctions for  non-adherence to proposed solutions. Ass a result, numerous revisions of  the Agreement followed.

As Bradshaw (2013: 191) indicates, the entire effort to reduce fossil  fuel emissions has stalled due to an inability of world leaders to  agree to disagree when it comes to reducing or increasing fossil fuel  use in developed and undeveloped countries. This stagnation has served  as the main reason several conferences/forums succeeding Montreal have  failed to produce solid infrastructure leading to actual protocol that  would result in GHG reduction. Bradshaw (2013: 191) also points out that  the political hierarchy operating as a top-down governance structure  has failed to find operable solutions that can be amenably interchanged  between energy security, globalization and climate change.

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  • International relations theory speaks to the difficulties of  foregoing self-interest for the common good, implying there are elements  of tragedy in preserving public good. In your view, is the current  state of international agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions  tragic? Of the optimistic solutions put forward by Michael Bradshaw, Tim  Wirth, Tom Daschle, and David Victor, which do you find most likely to  succeed?

The GHG emission dilemma served as a staunch example of how  responsible actors adhere to the obedience of economic platforms while  pushing futile resolution agendas. As Leck, Conway, Bradshaw and Rees  outlines, the nexus connecting water, energy and food (WEF), are  consistently introduced as business initiatives as opposed to overcoming  significant barriers that have previously presented challenges to  global environment change. If given the correct backing, this would be  an approach that can be considered realistic and has an actual chance to  really work.  Beddington (2009), identifies the issue as the “Perfect  Storm”. By interchangeably addressing the WEF trilogy, the resource and  availability challenges predicted by global population increase, which  in turn, increases total WEF use, can be minimized.

References; (Links to an external site.)

Bradshaw, M. (2013). Global energy dilemmas: Energy security, globalization, and climate change (Links to an external site.). Cambridge, UK: Polity

Tracing the Water–Energy–Food Nexus: Description, Theory and PracticeHayley Leck (Links to an external site.) , Declan Conway (Links to an external site.)Michael Bradshaw (Links to an external site.)Judith Rees (Links to an external site.), First published: 17 August 2015

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