Chapter 9: Climate diplomacy
What is the impact of international diplomacy on climate governance? Climate change negotiations have become proverbial for their repeated failure to produce a strong policy agreement. The chapter assesses climate diplomacy from an insider’s perspective and provides an update on political dynamics and recent outcomes. It argues that UNFCCC negotiations have already succeeded in facilitating policy change without formal agreements. Global discussions have affected state behavior and fostered the development of domestic policies even in the absence of a formal treaty. Persuasion and arguments about the economics of climate policy have led to the reconsideration of national interests. The importance of diplomacy is in spreading ideas that alter cost–benefit calculations about climate policy. The conversations during negotiations help explain the proliferation of climate-friendly policies that signal a global ‘Green Shift,’ an economic transition to low-carbon development. Scholars of diplomacy need to recognize the diverse impacts of negotiations on state behavior, apart from treaty-making.
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