International Climate Change Policy & Economic essay

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International Climate Change Policy & Economic essay: Guidance Approach and elements In this essay, you track and analyse a particular issue in international climate policy. • The essay should be on a single international climate policy concept that has been the subject of prolonged international deliberation. Suggested topics are below. • You will need to identify a particular aspect or application of the broader topic that you analyse. This can take the form of investigating a particular, tightly defined angle or a case study for one or more countries or sectors. • The essay must include a discussion on how the issue has been addressed through negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) over time. It may also explore how the issue has been discussed or governed beyond the UNFCCC in other multilateral forums such as G20, Major Economies Forum etc. • The essay must provide an overview of how the issue has progressed over time. This should include discussion of proposals (eg by researchers, organisations or countries) for how to deal with the issues, any implementation efforts, as well as shortcomings and successes (both in negotiations and implementation). It must also include a discussion of how the issue could evolve in the future. • The essay must go beyond description and provide critical commentary and a clear argument on the effectiveness of political and diplomatic efforts, in the broader context of international climate policy. This critical analysis should be grounded in ideas and theory covered in the course (history of negotiations, agreement dynamics etc.). • The essay needs to include references to both research (academic articles/books, research reports etc) and some primary sources (eg negotiation text and proposals, UNFCCC or national government documents etc). As a guide, include at least 10 references; more is better, if they are well chosen. • Include a short Summary (~200 words or less) and a suitable title. Include an Introduction but keep this short, don’t waste space on generalities. Include Tables, Figures, lists as appropriate. Include a Conclusion, this is the place where you can voice your own personal assessment/opinion if you like to do so. Include a Harvard-style reference list. • Do not write on the same topic as assignment

1. Your assignment one covers the markets article in the Paris Agreement, so do not write on markets in assignment 2. • Ensure you refer to the top ten writing tips provided in the opening session of Day 1 (find them in the materials folder for Day 1) Possible Topics Below are suggested topics, and illustrative questions as examples of what kind of aspects you may want to look at under each topic. You should focus your essay on one (or at most two questions), and analyse these question in the topic’s broader context. Agreement legal form Examine the legal form and bindingness of the Paris agreement and compare this to previous agreements, such as the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. How does it differ, how are they similar? How do their legal forms vary across both the agreement and the specific commitments (pledges or contracts)? What does this mean for their effectiveness and implementation? Are there any changes to legality to improve the future effectiveness of the Paris Agreement that could be made? Alternatively, you could explore how different major country (or negotiating group) positions on legality have changed over time and why. Ambition of global climate policy How has the stated ambition of international climate agreements changed over time, and why? What is the prospect for reconciling the difference between the Paris Agreement’s stated long term ambition and the aggregate NDCs submitted by countries? Is the current debate about 1.5 degrees (including the IPCC 1.5d special report) likely to influence the global ambition? Is the Trump administration’s stance against the Paris agreement likely to affect global ambition, and how? Is the possibility of future geo-engineering likely to change the level of ambition for global mitigation policy? Financing How have the multilateral financial instruments (the Green Climate Fund, Global Environmental Facility etc.) changed over time and why? Which financing vehicles can be considered as successful, and what lessons arise for future climate finance? What are the respective roles and likely magnitudes of private versus public finance for climate change action? What role has climate finance played in practice for particular countries? Adaptation How has the treatment of adaptation differed across the major three UN agreements (UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, Paris), and why? Is the treatment of adaptation in international climate policy likely to change in the future, particularly with the implementation of the Paris Agreement? To what extent has adaptation been defined as a national or international issue, and how has this changed over time, and for what reasons? What have been the positions of selected individual countries on adaptation in the climate negotiations, and why have positions differed? Minilateralism Have minilateral forums made any climate related decisions and/or influenced the climate negotiations – if so how, and if not why not? How have minilateral discussions or decisions influenced the three major agreements (UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, Paris)? How have specific countries engaged in minilateral initiatives? What is the potential role of minilateral approaches in the future, particularly in relation to the implementation of the Paris Agreement? Pledge and Review

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