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Environmental and Energy Security Research Paper

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Jeff

Environmental and Energy Security Research Paper

4/30/17

Introduction/History

        Climate change has been a very important topic for quite some time now. It always is a big issue in politics and how the world needs to do something about it or else we could be in big trouble. Sometimes though is it hard to get people on the same page with climate change. Some people don’t think climate change is a problem in the world, while there are people who think it could lead to the end of the world. We have seen that these climate change issues for a lot longer than people expect. There have been many different types of international agreements to combat climate change before the Paris agreement had came into play.

        The first World Climate conference (WCC) took place in 1979 in Geneva. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) convened the meeting and the main purpose of the meeting was to talk about global warming and how it could affect human activity. The conference issued a statement, which called upon world governments to foresee and to prevent potential man-made changes in climate that might be adverse to the wellbeing of humanity. Then in 1988 the WMO and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The reason for the IPCC was to evaluate all aspects of climate change and its impact based on scientific information.  One of the major things to happen before the Paris agreements was in 1992 when countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The UNFCCC main focus is find out what they can do to limit the global temperature increase and the climate change and how to deal with its impacts. Then in 1997, the countries planned negotiations to strengthen the global response to climate changes and went on to adopt the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol legally binds developed country Parties to release reduction targets. The first commitment of the protocol started in 2008 through 2012, and then the second commitment period began in 2013 and will end in 2020. There are now a total of 195 Parties in the convention and a total of 192 Parties in the Kyoto Protocol. All of these international agreements are a few of the things that ended up leading to the Paris agreements in 2015.

Responsibility and Vulnerability

        Living the United States you have people that truly care about the issues of climate change and global warming, and then you have people you don’t pay any attention to those issues and don’t think climate change and global warming will do anything to harm them. Things those people don’t realize that maybe it may not have a big affect on them but climate change and global warming are going to have affects on other countries. The countries that will see the biggest affects on climate change are going to be the poor countries. “Low income countries will remain on the frontline of human induced climate change over the next century.” (Vidal) These smaller and poor countries take the biggest hit on climate change because so many of the poor countries live in tropical areas. The reasons why that these types of countries take the hit is from countries that have polluted greatly. The poorer countries have the most to lose because they rely most on agriculture, which could be doomed with the increase in temperature and serve drought.

        There are many different types of examples of countries that will be affected the most by the climate change. When analyzing the risk different countries have “researchers evaluated 193 countries on three factors, the capacity of nations to combat the effects of climate change, exposure to extreme weather events and sensitivity of populations to this exposure areas such as health and agricultural dependence.” (Gates) East Africa is an example that it will experience increased short rains and West Africa will get heavier monsoons. Then Bangladesh and India will get stronger cyclones and everywhere else in Southern Asia is where heavy summer rains will happen.

        When trying to find out which countries have polluted the most, you see a lot of the countries are in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Some of the countries are Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and China. The city of Delhi is one of the worlds most pollutes cities. These countries will have the greatest impact on those smaller countries trying to survive all of this climate change. But they are not too much different from the countries that are vulnerable to the issue. They are all in a very similar location and that’s probably why those countries will be affected.

Conflicting Interests

        As we all see climate change and global warming isn’t just an issue in one part of the world but it has or going to have an affect on the entire world. There have been times where the world has tried to figure this all out and get everyone on the same page. Governments such as the United States use “wait and see policies, which to see whether climate change will cause substantial economic harm before undertaking policies to reduce emission.” (Romm) If you have governments that want to play that wait and see game then it could be to late. The climate change and global warming could come back and get them. Also you thing of the bigger governments that are doing this and thinking nothing is going to happen to them, and not realizing about the countries that have the greatest risk of being affected.

        Climate policy has been very difficult to achieve by trying to get everyone on the same team, to get climate change stalled. International cooperation depends on many different factors. The first is that everyone must agree on the science of an issue. The countries will need to agree that the issue of climate change and global warming actually does exist. Another factor for climate policies to be achieved is that both the solution and associated cost and benefits have been identified. If some countries see that it might cost them a lot of money and not benefit them at all, then those countries would not have a reason to join. Those countries are going to want to see something in return if they are throwing all this money into it. Structure of incentives is going to be the supreme of importance. When countries see the efforts that they put in but they seem to see putting money into isn’t going to help them right away, which they probably would like. All of these countries government are just wanting a short term result, and not realize that it will help the world has a whole in the long run.

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