Environment, Climate Change and International Relations

Chapter 4: The Institutionalization of Climate Change in Global Politics 

Today it is commonplace to state that climate change is an urgent global priority. States, and scientists, have highlighted its destructive effects. In fact, scientific studies abound illustrating how climate change will lead to an increased frequency of extreme weather events, triggering more intense storms, melting polar icecaps and glaciers and raising sea levels (IPCC, 2014). It will have major effects on everything from agriculture to the spread of diseases. Yet anthropogenic climate change was once dismissed by many scientists, ignored by heads of state and seen as irrelevant by our multilateral institutions. So how has climate change become a top global priority? And how do we know that it will continue to be so?

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