The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology, Second Edition
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The International Handbook of Environmental Sociology, Second Edition

Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Graham Woodgate

This thoroughly revised Handbook provides an assessment of the scope and content of environmental sociology, and sets out the intellectual and practical challenges posed by the urgent need for policy and action to address accelerating environmental change.
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Chapter 19: Structural Obstacles to an Effective Post-2012 Global Climate Agreement: Why Social Structure Matters and How Addressing it Can Help Break the Impasse

Bradley C. Parks and J. Timmons Roberts


Bradley C. Parks and J. Timmons Roberts Introduction: shared vision? The ‘Bali Roadmap’ identified a series of steps that might be taken to break the North– South impasse and solve the global climate crisis in the crucial years 2007 to 2009 to avoid a ‘gap’ in the functioning of the Kyoto Protocol. The Roadmap was hashed out in the presence of 10 000 representatives from developed and developing countries, intergovernmental organizations, environmental advocacy groups, research institutes and media outlets who were in Bali, Indonesia for the 13th Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-13). The objective of the summit was to lay the groundwork for the negotiation of an ambitious ‘post-2012’ global climate pact in December 2009 at COP-15 in Copenhagen, Denmark. In particular, an Ad Hoc Working Group for Long-Term Cooperative Action under the Convention (AWG-LCA) was tasked with breaking the deadlock over who should act in cleaning up the atmosphere, and how. The answer, according to the Roadmap, was that developed and developing countries would move forward with ‘a shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emissions reductions, to achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention [avoiding dangerous climate change]’. However, establishing a ‘shared vision’ has proven to be tremendously difficult. The USA wants binding limits on emissions by China and India. China refused, because it has not historically been a major part of the problem and because per person emissions there are a fraction of...

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