chapter  1
25 Pages

Governing climate change: a brief history

Although we often assume that the high profile that climate change now enjoys means that it is a new political issue, in fact it has a much longer legacy. In this chapter, we provide a brief history of the politics of climate change. We analyze the key issues and conflicts in the international negotiations from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 through to the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and up to the present state of negotiations towards an anticipated agreement in Paris in 2015. The discussion is organized around three features of climate governance which have characterized this period: the role of science and the scientific community in the governance of climate change, the evolving role of North-South politics, and finally the increasing marketization of climate governance. Before examining these key issues in turn, we provide a brief overview of how climate policy is made at the international level.