- Climate change policy of Germany, UK and USA
- Book title
- Principles of environmental sciences
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Dordrecht: Springer
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
International climate change politics provides a clear example of how cultural differences, conflicts of interest and scientific assessments interact to shape environmental policy-making. This section will explore these interrelationships by analysing the role of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany in international climate change negotiations. All three countries are important and influential players on the international stage. From the start of the international climate change negotiation process, they have taken very different positions and favoured very different policy options — reflecting country specific approaches to dealing with the complexities and uncertainties involved in climate change. Given the global character of the climate system though, they also needed to reach a minimum of agreement amongst themselves as well as with other countries in order to develop global mitigation and adaptation strategies. This has resulted in a long and arduous process of negotiation, that will be briefly introduced in the following sections.
In the remaining part of this section, we shall argue that the origins of the diverging policy positions of the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany are as much of a cultural as of an economic nature. These origins encompass differences in national perceptions as well as differences in national interests. These differences shape scientifically based yet country-specific understandings of the causes, effects and solutions of climate change. Consequently, they predetermine country-specific preferences for particular solutions. By analysing these cultural and economic origins of country-specific policy preferences, we aim to clarify part of the cultural, scientific and political-economic dynamics that shape environmental policymaking in the modern, globalising yet culturally heterogeneous world.
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