Climate Change And The Quest For Clean Energy

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Climate Change and the Quest for Clean Energy Final Exam YALE STUDENT ID: _______________914684600________________________ Part A (select one question to answer): 2. Maurice Strong (the Secretary General of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit) liked to distinguish between “success” and “real success” in international agreements. Discuss the 2015 Paris climate change agreement with regard to whether it represents success or real success. Last week at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Ms. Christiana Figueres, the charismatic Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2010, gave a talk highlighting the great outcome presented at COP-21 meeting last December in Paris. She referred to the…show more content…
There is no policy issue with such complex distribution of costs and benefits as climate change, making really problematic to assign responsibilities among the parties involved. As a result, we observed a huge implementation and accountability gap that accumulated throughout the past negotiations2. The crucial long-term global governance ended up compromised by the shortsighted political and sectorial administrative systems, always tending to consider only immediate national interests. In that sense, the Paris Agreement can be seen as a success since it accomplished to bring to the table more than 180 countries to commit to a common goal. Not only that, countries submitted their voluntary plans for reducing carbon emissions with the formulation of the ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ (INDC’s). Like Ms. Figueres said “the Agreement sets an incontrovertible new direction toward a cleaner energy future”1. She also acknowledges it only represents a step into a long and hard process. Needless to say, real success will require a lot of hard work and steady efforts to take the Agreement’s spirit and vision to concrete advances. Still on the successes of building up a momentum for action, the climate agreement conveyed the collaboration of a broad set of actors to strengthen the commitments. The top-down approach of relying on national governments as leaders for climate response is now being reframed towards a more inclusive space for action. Much
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