01 December 2017

Strauss Center Distinguished Scholar and CEPSA researcher Joshua Busby provided summary and insight from the United Nations’ 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) on Climate for Washington Post’s blog, “Monkey Cage.” The conference held in November in Bonn, Germany brought together all U.N. member nations and a plethora of non-state actors to discuss next steps for global climate governance.

The main takeaways of COP23 according to Dr. Busby, who presented in Bonn on the interplay of climate change and security vulnerability in Asian countries, are the following (described in detail in the post, here):

  1. The status quo is stable, for now
  2. The climate is still getting worse
  3. It’s still not clear whether other actors can fill the gap left by the United States

The United States has roiled climate politics this year by announcing its intent to pull out of the Paris Agreement, which aims to stabilize global rises in temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius and avoid “dangerous climate change.” However, the U.S. cannot formally exit the agreement until 2020, and in the meantime, state governments within the U.S., non-governmental organizations, and multi-national corporations are rallying to meet the goal with or without the U.S. government.

Dr. Busby points out that “the world would like China to lead,” given that China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Although China remains committed to the Paris Agreement, Dr. Busby says that China’s actions may be developing slower than advocates want. China is also pressing for more leeway for developing countries to release emissions. For the entire synopsis and analysis from Dr. Busby, along with links to research and insider snapshots of the negotiations in Bonn, read the blog post here.