The politics behind U.S. environmental foreign policy on climate change by Karl Lemberg

The politics behind U.S. environmental foreign policy on climate change

byKarl Lemberg

Kobo ebook | October 25, 2005

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Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,0, University of Potsdam, course: International Environmental Policy, 19 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Climate change is the extraordinary warming of the Earth from increased concentration of greenhouse gasses (GHG)1 and the climate consequences of that warming, which can be in many ways harmful to humans and the environment.2 In the 1980s climate change appeared on the agenda in international politics3 but only since the end of the Cold War the climate change debate has shifted into the focus of concern in foreign policy circles4 until it was swept away by an omnipresent War on Terror after September 11. The United States, as the world's largest polluter5 to climate change - US emissions of CO² exceed those of all other countries6 plus on a per capita basis US CO²-emissions are the highest off all countries7 - plays a major, if not the decisive, role in international environmental politics and the dialogue for a global strategy to address climate change. While the United States was one of the leading countries in terms of progressive domestic legislation and one of the driving forces behind international environmental agreements (e.g. dealing with the problem of ozone depletion culminating in the Montreal Protocol) 8, the US is now not only blocking the Kyoto Protocol, but also actively pressuring other undecided countries not to sign and ratify the Protocol. Paradoxically, American scientists have played a leading role in identifying the anthropogenic affect on global warming and its dangerous consequences, yet political commitment and leadership to address the climate change problem is very weak. American foreign policy especially with regards to climate change can only be explained by a myriad of factors, ranging from concerns for national interests and the influence of domestic politics, to the ability of exercising leadership.9 In the course of this paper I want to shed some light on the politics behind the U.S. climate change policy. The main questions will be: Who are the key players in the decision-making process and which groups influence the policy-shaping of these key players. In the end I will reflect my findings upon the U.S. politics around the Kyoto Protocol and compare the approach to climate change policy of former President Clinton with that of current President Bush. My primary non-academic source is a telephone interview with Daniel Chao - legislative director for Congresswomen Grace Napolitano (D-CA) in the US House of Representatives and key Democratic10 House staffer for environmental issues - conducted December 28, 2003.

Title:The politics behind U.S. environmental foreign policy on climate changeFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:October 25, 2005Publisher:GRIN PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3638431908

ISBN - 13:9783638431903

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