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International Environmental Policy

Interests and the Failure of the Kyoto Process Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, Emeritus Reader in Geography, University of Hull, UK and Aynsley Kellow, Professor Emeritus of Government, University of Tasmania, Australia
The Kyoto Protocol has singularly failed to shape international environmental policy-making in the way that the earlier Montreal protocol did. Whereas Montreal placed reliance on the force of science and moralistic injunctions to save the planet, and successfully determined the international response to climate change, Kyoto has proved significantly more problematic. International Environmental Policy considers why this is the case.

The authors contend that such arguments on this occasion proved inadequate to the task, not just because the core issues of the Kyoto process were subject to more powerful and conflicting interests than previously, and the science too uncertain, but because the science and moral arguments themselves remained too weak. They argue that ‘global warming’ is a failing policy construct because it has served to benefit limited but undeclared interests that were sustained by green beliefs rather than robust scientific knowledge.
Extent: 232 pp
Hardback Price: $128.00 Web: $115.20
Publication Date: 2003
ISBN: 978 1 84064 818 8
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Environmental Politics and Policy
  • European Politics and Policy
The Kyoto Protocol has singularly failed to shape international environmental policy-making in the way that the earlier Montreal protocol did. Whereas Montreal placed reliance on the force of science and moralistic injunctions to save the planet, and successfully determined the international response to climate change, Kyoto has proved significantly more problematic. International Environmental Policy considers why this is the case.

The authors contend that such arguments on this occasion proved inadequate to the task, not just because the core issues of the Kyoto process were subject to more powerful and conflicting interests than previously, and the science too uncertain, but because the science and moral arguments themselves remained too weak. They argue that ‘global warming’ is a failing policy construct because it has served to benefit limited but undeclared interests that were sustained by green beliefs rather than robust scientific knowledge.

This highly topical book takes a frank look at the political motivations that underpin the global warming debate, and will appeal to political scientists and energy policy analysts as well as anyone with an interest in the future of the environment and in the policies we create to protect it.
‘The book does not attempt to say what “should” be done about global warming. Instead it uses a framework of thinking about how interests – including those of governments and scientists as well as business and activists – affect negotiations over international issues. The ultimate aim is to reconsider the international environmental institutions that attempt to balance these interests and forge workable agreements. The failure of Kyoto points to inadequacies in the current mechanisms. Boehmer-Christiansen and Kellow have made a valuable contribution to understanding this failure and where solutions might emerge.’
– Ross McKitrick, The World Economy
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. The International Environmental Policy Process: Increasing Complexity and Implementation Failure 3. Energy Interests, Opportunities, and Uneven Burden-sharing 4. The Kyoto Process 5. The Failure of Principled Discourse 6. Institutionalizing Scientific Advice: Designing Consensus as a Policy Driver? 7. The Suppression of Scientific Controversy 8. Baptists, Bootleggers and the Kyoto Process Bibliography Index