Public lecture | Climate leadership before and after the Paris Agreement
London School of Economics – University of Melbourne 2016 public lecture, hosted by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and chaired by Dr. Robert Falkner
Most parties and observers acknowledge that the rapid ratcheting up of mitigation action and climate finance provision by developed countries is the key to unlocking enhanced mitigation in developing countries, and that both developments are essential if the Paris Agreement is to meet its long term goals and targets. Yet the responses by developed countries to the international expectation that their differentiated responsibilities require them to lead in mitigation (whether by moving early and/or doing more) shows considerable variation, ranging from cautious acceptance to cavalier denial. This lecture reviews the troubled history of the international norm of developed country leadership and the findings of comparative climate politics that explain this variation. It also offers some proposals on how the processes of reviewing NDCs might be strengthened to minimise the risk of self-differentiation degenerating into a self-serving apology for the protection of national interests.
Professor Robyn Eckersley
Robyn Eckersley is a Professor in Political Science in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne and a member of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia. She has published widely in the fields of environmental politics, democratic theory and international relations, with a special focus on the politics and governance of climate change. Her books include Environmentalism and Political Theory (1992); Markets, the State and the Environment (Macmillan, 1995, editor); The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty (MIT Press, 2004); Political Theory and the Ecological Challenge (CUP, 2006, co-editor); The State and the Global Ecological Crisis (MIT Press, 2005, co-editor); Special Responsibilities: Global Problems and American Power (2012, co-author); Why Human Security Matters (2012, co-editor) and Globalization and the Environment (2013) (co-author). She has attended five Conferences of the Parties (COPs) to the UNFCCC as an observer (including in Paris in 2015) and she is currently working on a comparative project on ‘What Makes a Climate Leader?’
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