Carbon Politics and the Failure of Kyoto charts the framework and political evolution of the Kyoto Protocol negotiations and examines the ensuing failure of the international community to adequately address climate change. The focus is not on the science or consequences of climate change but on the political gamesmanship of the major players throughout the UNFCCC negotiation process. More than an updated history of the subject matter, this book provides a detailed study of the carbon targets which became the biggest influencing factor on the reaction of nations to Kyoto’s binding agreements.
The book provides an in-depth analysis of the leading nations’ motives, including the US, China and Germany, in entering the negotiations, in particular, their economic interests. Despite the effort to combat climate change in politics that the negotiations represent, the book concludes that an agreement which requires almost 200 very different nations to agree on a single protocol is doomed to failure. The book offers a novel contribution to our understanding of this failure and suggests alternative frameworks and policies to tackle what is arguably the most complex political issue of our time.