Climate change has been an ongoing debate for many years now. Beginning in 1997 the first protocol, the Kyoto Protocol, was introduced. This protocol is an international agreement that sets emission reduction targets that countries are supposed to try and meet. This was seen as the first step to global emission reduction. Furthermore the Cancun agreements, also set to limit greenhouse gas emissions, were set in 2010. There have been many other conventions to try and come up with ways to reduce emissions, but does it really seem like we are taking the necessary steps to reduce them.
Despite all of these negotiations, greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase through the world. Here is a short clip which discusses climate change and its impact. Why have emissions increased when we are trying so hard to reduce them? The article by Nunes states two main points which make agreements to reduce emissions so hard. First, is the legal aspect of the agreements. No country wants to get themselves into a position that does not better themselves. Nunes goes on to say that the negotiations “reveal very specific national interests”. Countries are making agreements with their own best interest in mind, which takes away from the actual climate change issue. The second issue is language barriers. It becomes difficult for cooperation to take place between countries that cannot fully understand each other, or the process takes longer than intended.
I think that although we have tried to negotiate in the past, the only way to truly make progress to a cleaner earth is by adopting Hobbes logic. Hobbes believes that in order to succeed you need a sovereign, or someone who ultimately calls the shots. He states,“the only way to erect such a common power is to confer all power and strength upon one man, or assembly of men, that may reduce all their wills, by plurality of voices, unto one will”. In the case of climate change this could be the UN or the security council. Furthermore, Hobbes suggest that “covenants, without the sword, are but words, and of no strength to secure a man at all”. This explains how, without contracts that specifically say how much each country will reduce their emissions, and without punishment for failure to reach those goals, the agreements becomes pledges that the countries will forgo. As Nunes says, “there are too many conflicting interests”. The countries need to give up their power and comply to a single power like the UN in order to save this planet. Without cooperation, self-interest will destroy us.