Politics of global warming

Politics of global warming

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The politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

of global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

have involved corporate lobbying, funding of special interest groups and public relations campaigns by the oil and coal industries which have affected policy decisions and legislation worldwide. In turn this has caused political debate over the science of and response to global warming.

Political sphere

  • UNFCCC
  • European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

    's European Climate Change Programme
    European Climate Change Programme
    The European Climate Change Programme was launched in June 2000 by the European Union's European Commission, toward avoiding dangerous climate change....

  • Developing countries
  • 31st G8 summit
    31st G8 summit
    The 31st G8 summit was held from July 6 to July 8, 2005 at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland, United Kingdom and hosted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair...


Political alignment and global warming


In most English-speaking countries, support for action to mitigate global warming, such as ratification and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

 is strong on the political left.

However, the first politician putting Global Warming on the political agenda was Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 1969. Nixon wanted environmental topics (as acid rain and greenhouse effect) to be treated by a third and civil pillar of NATO. The reaction of the NATO allies was lukewarm but the initiative gained impact in the civil field.

In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

 was instrumental in increasing the United Kingdom's electricity generation from North Sea gas and reducing generation from coal.

In Germany Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel
Angela Dorothea Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany . Merkel, elected to the Bundestag from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has been the chairwoman of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000, and chairwoman of the CDU-CSU parliamentary coalition from 2002 to 2005.From 2005 to 2009 she led a...

, then secretary of the environment during the conservative Helmut Kohl
Helmut Kohl
Helmut Josef Michael Kohl is a German conservative politician and statesman. He was Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 and the chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1973 to 1998...

 government, lead the German Kyoto Delegation and had a substantial role in making the Kyoto agreement possible.

In December 2007, Kevin Rudd's first act as prime minister of Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 was to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in time for the Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

 talks in Bali.

In Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, the Liberal Party
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada , colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federally registered party in Canada. In the conventional political spectrum, the party sits between the centre and the centre-left. Historically the Liberal Party has positioned itself to the left of the Conservative...

 government ratified Kyoto.

In New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, the Labour
New Zealand Labour Party
The New Zealand Labour Party is a New Zealand political party. It describes itself as centre-left and socially progressive and has been one of the two primary parties of New Zealand politics since 1935....

 government of Helen Clark ratified Kyoto.

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the Labour Party ratified Kyoto

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

's Administration signed Kyoto and Democrats have proposed and supported a number of bills to mitigate emissions. Although Kyoto is signed, subsequent sessions of Congress failed to ratify the treaty and thus the United States is not bound to it. US diplomats have conceded the treaty will never be ratified. "We are not going to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. That is out," said US climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing at the 2009 Bangkok Climate Change Talks. Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 supported passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act
American Clean Energy and Security Act
The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 was an energy bill in the 111th United States Congress that would have established a variant of an emissions trading plan similar to the European Union Emission Trading Scheme...

 to establish a United States Carbon Cap and Trade Program
United States Carbon Cap and Trade Program
The United States Carbon Cap-and-Trade Plan is a policy being proposed by President Barack Obama that would essentially put a price on carbon dioxide emissions by auctioning off permits to emit the gas...

; while the bill was approved in the House of Representatives, it was not taken up in the Senate.

In some countries the political right are fighting on a platform of taking tough action against global warming, while in others the political right either dispute the scientific consensus on global warming
Climate change consensus
Climate change consensus may refer to:* Scientific opinion on climate change* Public opinion on climate change...

 or oppose action to mitigate global warming, instead favoring adaption. All European countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

, and all have supported strong reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

In the United States, a February 2007 survey found that 95% of the 41 Congressional Democrats surveyed agreed "it's been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the Earth is warming because of man-made problems" while only 13% of the 31 Republicans surveyed agreed.

Global warming skepticism has been promoted by newspapers associated with the right such as The Australian
The Australian
The Australian is a broadsheet newspaper published in Australia from Monday to Saturday each week since 14 July 1964. The editor in chief is Chris Mitchell, the editor is Clive Mathieson and the 'editor-at-large' is Paul Kelly....

, the Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom and the National Post
National Post
The National Post is a Canadian English-language national newspaper based in Don Mills, a district of Toronto. The paper is owned by Postmedia Network Inc. and is published Mondays through Saturdays...

in Canada.

Asia and Oceania


Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 officially ratified the Kyoto Protocol, after the new Labor government came into power on December 3, 2007. The previous Coalition government had long objected to ratifying the treaty, arguing it would unduly impact on Australian jobs, especially when countries such as China, India and the U.S. were not party to it.

Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 is preparing to force industry to make big cuts in greenhouse gases, taking the lead in a country struggling to meet its Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

 obligations.

Canada


Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

's Liberal Government during the 1990s had agreed to Kyoto but oversaw the increase of greenhouse gas emissions during their terms in office and did little to meet Kyoto's targets. Canada's current Conservative Government has claimed that, due to increased emissions since 1990, it is realistically impossible to meet their Kyoto targets and attempting to do so would be disastrous for the Canadian economy. Current Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 has come under fire for being adamant in leaving Kyoto and working on a different climate plan. Consequently, this issue has become something of an Achilles' heel
Achilles' heel
An Achilles’ heel is a deadly weakness in spite of overall strength, that can actually or potentially lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, metaphorical references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.- Origin :In Greek...

 for the Government in recent months. The current Liberal Party
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada , colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federally registered party in Canada. In the conventional political spectrum, the party sits between the centre and the centre-left. Historically the Liberal Party has positioned itself to the left of the Conservative...

 has been quick in their condemnation of the Government but has also been accused of using Global Warming for political purposes as seen in the naming of leader Stéphane Dion
Stéphane Dion
Stéphane Maurice Dion, PC, MP is a Canadian politician who has been the Member of Parliament for the riding of Saint-Laurent–Cartierville in Montreal since 1996. He was the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and the Leader of the Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons from 2006 to 2008...

's dog 'Kyoto'.

Europe


Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 signed the Kyoto Protocol in November 2004, after a deal with the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 over WTO membership. Russia's ratification completed the requirements of the treaty to come into force, based on nations totaling 55% of world greenhouse gas emissions.

The UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 government-commissioned Stern Review
Stern Review
The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is a 700-page report released for the British government on 30 October 2006 by economist Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and also chair of the Centre...

 into the economic effects of climate change was published in October 2006. Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

's assessment was that it showed that scientific evidence of global warming was "overwhelming" and its consequences "disastrous". He added, "We can't wait the five years it took to negotiate Kyoto — we simply don't have the time. We accept we have to go further [than Kyoto]."
The UK government launched an official calculator in the week of June 18, 2007 that enables every person in the country to work out how much carbon dioxide they produce and how to cut it. Tory
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

 group sets out plans for Green Revolution.
In the UK campaign group Camp for Climate Action
Camp for Climate Action
The Camps for Climate Action are campaign gatherings that take place to draw attention to, and act as a base for direct action against, major carbon emitters, as well as to develop ways to create a zero-carbon society...

 aims to keep climate change on the political agenda, using direct action
Direct action
Direct action is activity undertaken by individuals, groups, or governments to achieve political, economic, or social goals outside of normal social/political channels. This can include nonviolent and violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the direct action...

 against major carbon emitters.

United States



The politics of global warming is played out at a state and federal level in the United States. Attempts to draw up climate change policy are being made at a state level to a greater extent than at a federal level.

Vatican


Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 told up to half a million people, over a hillside near the Adriatic city of Loreto
Loreto (AN)
Loreto is a hilltown and comune of the Italian province of Ancona, in the Marche. It is mostly famous as the seat of the Basilica della Santa Casa, a popular Catholic pilgrimage site.-Location:...

 on the day Catholic Church marks its annual Save Creation Day, that world leaders must make courageous decisions to save the planet "before it is too late".

Positions of the energy industries


One of the biggest opponents of action on global warming has been the fossil fuels energy industry, and particularly the oil industry, such as ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil
Exxon Mobil Corporation or ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company, and was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas...

, which regularly publishes papers minimizing the threat of global warming. In 1998, the company started providing financial support to organizations and individuals who disagreed with the scientific consensus that human activities were contributing to climate change. One of the groups that received funds from the company was the Competitive Enterprise Institute
Competitive Enterprise Institute
The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a non-profit think tank founded on March 9, 1984 in Washington, D.C. by lobbyist Fred L. Smith, Jr to advance economic liberty and fight over-regulation by big government...

. ExxonMobil also helped create the "Global Climate Science Team" whose members were active climate contrarians. According to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, between 1998 and 2005, ExxonMobil
ExxonMobil
Exxon Mobil Corporation or ExxonMobil, is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. It is a direct descendant of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil company, and was formed on November 30, 1999, by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. Its headquarters are in Irving, Texas...

 dispersed roughly $16 million to organizations that were challenging the scientific consensus view. After heavy criticism from the press and environmental groups in late 2006 and early 2007, ExxonMobil began distancing itself from these organizations.

In 2005, the oil giant opposed a shareholders' resolution to explain the science behind its denial of global warming. In recent years, other companies have increasingly come to accept global warming theory; for example, the Chairman of BP
BP
BP p.l.c. is a global oil and gas company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the third-largest energy company and fourth-largest company in the world measured by revenues and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors"...

, John Browne
John Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley
Edmund John Philip Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley, FRS FREng is President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and was group Chief Executive of BP until his resignation on 1 May 2007...

, declared a need for action in 2002. Lord Oxburgh, non-executive chairman of Shell
Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell plc , commonly known as Shell, is a global oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the fifth-largest company in the world according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine and one of the six...

, said in a speech at the 2005 Hay-on-Wye Festival: "We have 45 years, and if we start now, not in 10 or 15 years' time, we have a chance of hitting those targets. But we've got to start now. We have no time to lose."

One sector of the energy industry that has no problem with the greenhouse gas arguments is the nuclear industry. Margret Thatcher was one of the first major political figures to suggest that the nuclear power was a "green" solution. This was largely regarded with derision at the time but it is the ultimate goal of Tony Blair's solution to tomorrow's energy needs and probably explains his enthusiasm for emission controls.

Indeed as many countries move towards legally binding engagements to Kyoto targets, including fines for failing to achieve them, many governments may find this a convenient excuse for otherwise unpopular expansions of their nuclear programs.

As pointed out on Counter Punch the nuclear power industry is not slow to present itself as the "green" solution:

Nuclear power produces fewer emissions than fossil fuel plants; the exact level remains somewhat controversial; Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

 assert that nuclear power produces about one third of the emissions as equivalent fossil fuels energy over the lifetime of an installation.

Environmental groups


Thousands of protesters marched on the international day of action on December 3, 2005, which coincided with the first meeting of the Parties in Montreal. The planned demonstrations were endorsed by the Assembly of Movements of the World Social Forum
World Social Forum
The World Social Forum is an annual meeting of civil society organizations, first held in Brazil, which offers a self-conscious effort to develop an alternative future through the championing of counter-hegemonic globalization...

.

Christian environmental groups are also increasingly active on climate change, such as The Evangelical Climate Initiative.

US Catholic Bishops also have recognized the urgency of addressing global warming in a 2001 statement from the US Congress of Catholic Bishops Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good

In New Zealand, the Climaction Coalition has blockaded the main thoroughfares of Auckland City on two occasions, calling for Free and Frequent Public Transport to reduce the city's dependency on cars. They argue that such a measure would also help reduce global warming if repeated in other cities throughout the world. http://www.climaction.org.nz/

Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

 considers global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 to be the greatest environmental problem facing the Earth. Greenpeace
Greenpeace
Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

 was one of the first parties to formulate a sustainable development
Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

 scenario for climate change mitigation in 1993. According to sociologists Marc Mormont and Christine Dasnoy Greenpeace played a significant role in raising public awareness of global warming in the 1990s.

Academia


There are a large number of academic contributions specifically to the politics of global warming. The following are a small subset of these works:
  • G8
    G8
    The Group of Eight is a forum, created by France in 1975, for the governments of seven major economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1997, the group added Russia, thus becoming the G8...

     science academies' statements
  • Monograph by Dessler
    Andrew Dessler
    Andrew Dessler is a professor at Texas A&M University in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. His research subject areas are climate systems research and climate change policy. He has a BA degree from Rice University and a PhD degree from Harvard University.Dessler spent the year 2000 as a...

     and Parson entitled The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change: a Guide to the Debate, emphasizing the complexity of the issue.
  • Nobel Prize
    Nobel Prize
    The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

     winner Elinor Ostrom
    Elinor Ostrom
    Elinor Ostrom is an American political economist. She was awarded the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, which she shared with Oliver E. Williamson, for "her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons." She was the first, and to date, the only woman to win the prize in...

     cautions against using single governmental units at the global level to coordinate work against global warming. Partly, this is due to the complexity of such top-level negotiations, and partly it is due to the diversity of actors that would have to be involved. Her proposal is that of a polycentric approach, where key management decisions should be made as close to the scene of events and the actors involved as possible.

Media


The politics of global warming was raised to a considerably higher profile when former Vice President Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 was given an Academy Award for his documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Truth is a 2006 documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim about former United States Vice President Al Gore's campaign to educate citizens about global warming via a comprehensive slide show that, by his own estimate, he has given more than a thousand times.Premiering at the...

. Gore has made a considerable number of public appearances to promote the film and the subject-matter within it.

Other major media treatments of the politics of global warming:
  • The 11th Hour
    The 11th Hour (film)
    The 11th Hour is a 2007 documentary film, created, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, on the state of the natural environment. It was directed by Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners and financed by Adam Lewis and Pierre André Senizergues, and distributed by Warner Independent...

  • The Day After Tomorrow
    The Day After Tomorrow
    The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American science-fiction disaster film that depicts the catastrophic effects of global warming in a series of extreme weather events that usher in global cooling which leads to a new ice age. The film did well at the box office, grossing $542,771,772 internationally...

  • Are We Changing Planet Earth?
    Are We Changing Planet Earth?
    Are We Changing Planet Earth? and Can We Save Planet Earth? are two programmes that form a documentary about global warming, presented by David Attenborough...


Timeline


  • 1969, on Initiative of US President Richard Nixon
    Richard Nixon
    Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

    , NATO tried to establish a third civil column and planned to establish itself as a hub of research and initiatives in the civil region, especially on environmental topics. Daniel Patrick Moynihan
    Daniel Patrick Moynihan
    Daniel Patrick "Pat" Moynihan was an American politician and sociologist. A member of the Democratic Party, he was first elected to the United States Senate for New York in 1976, and was re-elected three times . He declined to run for re-election in 2000...

    , Nixons NATO delegate for the topic named Acid Rain
    Acid rain
    Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it possesses elevated levels of hydrogen ions . It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals, and infrastructure. Acid rain is caused by emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen...

     and the Greenhouse effect
    Greenhouse effect
    The greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. Since part of this re-radiation is back towards the surface, energy is transferred to the surface and the lower atmosphere...

     as suitable international challenges to be dealt by NATO. NATO had suitable expertise in the field, experience with international research coordination and a direct access to governments. After an enthusiastic start on authority level, the German government reacted sceptical. The initiative was seen as an American attempt to regain international terrain after the lost Vietnam War. The topics and the internal coordination and preparation effort however gained momentum in civil conferences and institutions in Germany and beyond during the Brandt government.
  • 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment
    United Nations Conference on the Human Environment
    The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was an international conference convened under United Nations auspices held in Stockholm, Sweden from June 5–16, 1972...

    , leading role of Nobel Prize winner Willy Brandt
    Willy Brandt
    Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm , was a German politician, Mayor of West Berlin 1957–1966, Chancellor of West Germany 1969–1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany 1964–1987....

     and Olof Palme
    Olof Palme
    Sven Olof Joachim Palme was a Swedish politician. A long-time protegé of Prime Minister Tage Erlander, Palme led the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1969 to his assassination, and was a two-term Prime Minister of Sweden, heading a Privy Council Government from 1969 to 1976 and a cabinet...

    , Germany saw enhanced international research cooperation on the Greenhouse topic as necessary
  • 1978 Brandt Report
    Brandt Report
    thumb|right|[[Willy Brandt]], the creator of the Brandt ReportThe Brandt Report is the report written by the Independent Commission, first chaired by Willy Brandt in 1980, to review international development issues...

    , the greenhouse effect dealt with in the energy section
  • 1979: First World Climate Conference
    World Climate Conference
    The world climate conferences are a series of international meetings, organized by the World Meteorological Organization , about global climate issues. The first two conferences largely focused on climate change in addition to climate research and forecasting...

  • 1987: Brundtland Report
  • 1987: Montreal Protocol
    Montreal Protocol
    The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion...

     on restricting ozone layer
    Ozone layer
    The ozone layer is a layer in Earth's atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone . This layer absorbs 97–99% of the Sun's high frequency ultraviolet light, which is potentially damaging to the life forms on Earth...

    -damaging CFCs demonstrates the possibility of coordinated international action on global environmental issues.
  • 1988: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a scientific intergovernmental body which provides comprehensive assessments of current scientific, technical and socio-economic information worldwide about the risk of climate change caused by human activity, its potential environmental and...

     set up to coordinate scientific research, by two United Nations organizations, the World Meteorological Organization
    World Meteorological Organization
    The World Meteorological Organization is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 189 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization , which was founded in 1873...

     and the United Nations Environment Programme
    United Nations Environment Programme
    The United Nations Environment Programme coordinates United Nations environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices. It was founded as a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in June 1972 and has its...

     (UNEP) to assess the "risk of human-induced climate change".
  • 1992: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development , informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992...

     agreed at the Earth Summit
    Earth Summit
    The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development , also known as the Rio Summit, Rio Conference, Earth Summit was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 June to 14 June 1992.-Overview:...

     in Rio de Janeiro
    Rio de Janeiro
    Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

    , entering into force 21 March 1994.
  • 1995: The term preventing dangerous anthropogenic interfernce with the climate system
    Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
    The related terms "avoiding dangerous climate change" and "preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" date to 1995 and earlier, in the Second Assesment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change and previous science it cites.In 2002, the United Nations...

     (also called avoiding dangerous climate change) first appeared in a policy document of a governmental organization, the IPCC's Second Assessment Report: Climate Change 1995.
  • 1996: European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

     adopts target of a maximum 2°C rise in average global temperature
  • 25 June 1997: U.S. Senate passes Byrd–Hagel Resolution rejecting Kyoto without more commitments from developing countries
  • 1997: Kyoto Protocol
    Kyoto Protocol
    The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

     agreed
  • 2001: George W. Bush
    George W. Bush
    George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

     withdraws from the Kyoto negotiations
  • 16 February 2005: Kyoto Protocol comes into force (not including the US or Australia)
  • 2005: first carbon emissions trading scheme (EU) implemented
  • July 2005: 31st G8 summit
    31st G8 summit
    The 31st G8 summit was held from July 6 to July 8, 2005 at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder, Scotland, United Kingdom and hosted by British Prime Minister Tony Blair...

     has climate change on the agenda, but makes relatively little concrete progress
  • November/December 2005: United Nations Climate Change Conference; the first meeting of the Parties of the Kyoto Protocol, alongside the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP11), to plan further measures for 2008–2012 and beyond.
  • July 19, 2006: In California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

    , Gov. Schwarzenegger proposed forming the Climate Action Board, a new, centralized authority under his direct control that would be responsible for implementing one of the nation's most far-reaching initiatives to curb global warming
    Global warming
    Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

    . California ranks 12th in the world in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, however its regulatory actions tend to have far-reaching effects throughout the U.S.
  • October 30, 2006: The Stern Review
    Stern Review
    The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is a 700-page report released for the British government on 30 October 2006 by economist Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and also chair of the Centre...

     is published. It is the first comprehensive contribution to the global warming debate by an economist and its conclusions lead to the promise of urgent action by the UK government to further curb Europe's emissions and engage other countries to do so. It discusses the consequences of climate change, mitigation measures to prevent it, possible adaptation measures to deal with its consequences, and prospects for international cooperation.
  • June 26, 2009: U.S. House of Representatives passes the American Clean Energy and Security Act
    American Clean Energy and Security Act
    The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 was an energy bill in the 111th United States Congress that would have established a variant of an emissions trading plan similar to the European Union Emission Trading Scheme...

    , the "first time either house of Congress had approved a bill meant to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change."

See also


  • Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
    Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change
    The related terms "avoiding dangerous climate change" and "preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system" date to 1995 and earlier, in the Second Assesment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change and previous science it cites.In 2002, the United Nations...

  • Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change

Further reading

  • Aaron M. McCright and Riley E. Dunlap (2003), "Defeating Kyoto: The Conservative Movement's Impact on U.S. Climate Change Policy", Social Problems 50(3)
  • New York Times, 10 March 2005, "Evangelicals Put Climate Change High on Their Agenda: Evangelical Leaders Swing Influence Behind Effort to Combat Global Warming"
  • James Hansen
    James Hansen
    James E. Hansen heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, a part of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He has held this position since 1981...

     (2009). Storms of My Grandchildren
    Storms of My Grandchildren
    Storms of My Grandchildren is climate scientist James Hansen's first book, published by Bloomsbury Press in 2009. The book is about threats to people and habitability for life on earth from global warming.-Themes:...

    : The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
    , Bloomsbury Press, New York, ISBN 9781608192007.
  • Naomi Oreskes
    Naomi Oreskes
    Naomi Oreskes is an American science historian, and Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California San Diego. She has worked on studies of geophysics, environmental issues such as global warming, and the history of science...

     and Erik M. Conway
    Erik M. Conway
    Erik M. Conway is the historian at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. He is the author of several books....

     (2010). Merchants of Doubt
    Merchants of Doubt
    Merchants of Doubt is a 2010 book by the American science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. It identifies parallels between the climate change debate and earlier controversies over tobacco smoking, acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer...

    : How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming
    , Bloomsbury Press, New York.
  • Eric Pooley (2010). The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Planet, Hyperion, New York, ISBN 9781401323264.

External links


Environmental groups

  • Panda — the World Wide Fund for Nature
    World Wide Fund for Nature
    The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States...

     (WWF)
  • World watchWorldwatch Institute
    Worldwatch Institute
    The Worldwatch Institute is a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. Worldwatch was named as one of the top ten sustainable development research organizations by Globescan Survey of Sustainability Experts.-Mission:...

  • Green peaceGreenpeace
    Greenpeace
    Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organization with offices in over forty countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, The Netherlands...

  • Stop Climate Chaos - Coalition of UK charities
  • Fight global warmingEnvironmental Defense
    Environmental Defense
    Environmental Defense Fund or EDF is a United States–based nonprofit environmental advocacy group. The group is known for its work on issues including global warming, ecosystem restoration, oceans, and human health...

  • CutCO2.org - Independent information source

Business

  • Carbon Disclosure Project
    Carbon Disclosure Project
    The Carbon Disclosure Project is an organisation based in the United Kingdom which works with shareholders and corporations to disclose the greenhouse gas emissions of major corporations....

    http://www.cdproject.net/, supported by over 150 institutional investors, aims for transparency on companies' greenhouse gas emissions