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22 Pages

Introduction: governing climate change

Climate change is one of the most pressing scientific and political challenges of our time. With almost daily news reports of climate-related disasters, international meetings, scientific findings, and various forms of protest, it is unsurprising that the issue is both at the top of the international political agenda and one of significant public interest. Over the past 25 years, we have witnessed the perhaps paradoxical twin processes of growing scientific certainty about the causes and consequences of climate change, and rising concern that the issue presents an intractable problem for global governance. While the reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have built an increasingly alarming picture of the changes that increased levels of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere may precipitate, the international community has been slow to take proportionate action. In this book, we examine the governance of climate change in order to understand why and how the issue is being addressed and by whom, and to explore the challenges which arise from attempting to confront such a serious threat to our collective well-being.