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Global Warming Gridlock : Creating More Effective Strategies for Protecting the Planet - David G. Victor

Global Warming Gridlock

Creating More Effective Strategies for Protecting the Planet


Published: 10th March 2011
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Global warming is one of today's greatest challenges.

The science of climate change leaves no doubt that policies to cut emissions are overdue. Yet, after twenty years of international talks and treaties, the world is now in gridlock about how best to do this.

David Victor argues that such gridlock has arisen because international talks have drifted away from the reality of what countries are willing and able to implement at home. Most of the lessons that policy makers have drawn from the history of other international environmental problems won't actually work on the problem of global warming.

Victor argues that a radical rethinking of global warming policy is required and shows how to make international law on global warming more effective. This book provides a roadmap to a lower carbon future based on encouraging bottom-up initiatives at national, regional and global levels, leveraging national self-interest rather than wishful thinking.

About the Author

David Victor is a professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego, where he also leads the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation. His research has covered a wide array of topics related to international environmental regulation, energy markets and international law. His previous books include Natural Gas and Geopolitics (Cambridge University Press, 2006), The Collapse of the Kyoto Protocol and the Struggle to Slow Global Warming (second edition, 2004) and Technological Innovation and Economic Performance (2002).

'Uncertainty over global climate negotiations is impeding investment into the low-carbon economy. But policy gridlock is not inevitable. In his lucidly argued and timely new book, David Victor gives a pragmatic roadmap to help policymakers navigate their way around the current climate impasse.' Lord John Browne, Partner, Riverstone Holdings LLC and former CEO, BP Plc 'David Victor's voice on how to do successful climate diplomacy and policy is one of the most distinctive in today's world. It is a voice that needs to be listened to. Global Warming Gridlock exposes the myths, failures and naiveties of two decades of climate diplomacy. No prisoners are taken - diplomats, scientists, campaigners and engineers alike are placed in the firing line. Instead, and drawing upon his own profound analysis and experience of international environmental law, diplomacy and policy, Victor presents a convincing case for a pragmatic, incremental and credible approach to climate policy, in stark contrast to the idealistic, radical and incredible approach which has so feebly failed. [This book] adds its voice to the 'new realism' surrounding climate change science, discourse, politics and policy which is gaining important momentum following the scientific and diplomatic debacles of 2009/10.' Mike Hulme, Professor of Climate Change, University of East Anglia 'In Global Warming Gridlock, David Victor combines a devastating critique of the prevailing UN-based process with a politically sophisticated argument for an alternative strategy based on climate clubs and deals. To understand the politics of climate change, read this book!' Robert O. Keohane, Professor of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University 'The book covers a vast and in depth landscape of diplomatic history and is written in a compelling and engaging style. I particularly welcome Victor's focus on the need for better strategies to engage with emerging economies, such as India, that are making serious proactive contributions to mitigation, and adaptation, demonstrating that while they have not caused the problem, they will be part of the solution. His analysis takes to task the existing diplomatic process, which he argues has not been designed with the needs of emerging countries in mind.' Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India 'I cannot claim to have read all the books on global warming and climate change, but I've read enough, in the thirty years that I have been studying the subject, to assure you that it is exceedingly unlikely that there's another one out there that is as good, let alone better, than David Victor's. He is up to date on the science; he has more than two decades of experience in policy-making, especially international environmental policy-making; he is patient and fair-minded; and he writes in plain English. If you want to know what book to read, this one is it.' Thomas C. Schelling, Nobel Laureate in Economics, University of Maryland 'A sophisticated analysis of the effects of global warming.' The Economist

List of figuresp. vii
List of tablesp. viii
Preface and acknowledgements: a journey studying international environmental regulationp. ix
Hard truths about global warming: a roadmap to reading this bookp. xxvi
Setting the scenep. 1
Introduction and overviewp. 3
Why global warming is such a hard problem to solvep. 30
The three dimensions of climate policy strategyp. 59
Regulating emissions Part 1: the enthusiastic countriesp. 61
Regulating emissions Part 2: engaging reluctant developing countriesp. 83
Promoting technological changep. 116
Preparing for a changing climate: adaptation, geoengineering, and triagep. 165
Putting it all togetherp. 201
Explaining diplomatic gridlock: what went wrong?p. 203
A new strategyp. 241
Climate change and world order: implications for the UN, industry, diplomacy, and the great powersp. 263
Notesp. 279
Referencesp. 321
Indexp. 351

ISBN: 9780521865012
ISBN-10: 0521865018
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 10th March 2011
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.9  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.756