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The History of Global Climate Governance

  • Joyeeta Gupta - University of Amsterdam
Wednesday 14 December 2016
Stichthage, The Hague


About the lecture

With the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the USA, there is growing fear that he will undo President Obama's ratification of the Paris Agreement of 2015, thereby attempting to unravel the highly complicated agreement reached last year which led to the Paris Agreement entering into force in 2016. This does not come as a surprise as in 1989 at the Noordwijk Conference on Climate Change, the US delegate made clear that the US not only recognizes the right of developing countries to development, they share it! This brings us to the heart of the dispute between rich and poor countries. Should rich countries make space for the poorer countries to develop and in the process pollute as for example the European Union has done and intends to do, or should rich countries ignore their international responsibilities as the US tends to do in environmental treaties. But at the same time, on the 30th anniversary of the Right to Development, the question is - is this a collective right of states, or has the collective right of states been modified to the right to sustainable development as in the Climate Change Convention of 1992. It will face the question - if more than 80% of fossil fuels should stay unused in order to meet the long term objective of the Climate Convention, who should be allowed to use the remainder of the permissible fossil fuels - the Netherlands that has always used fossil fuels, or Ghana and Kenya that have just discovered these resources? This presentation will cover 25 years of climate change diplomacy and highlight issues of state responsibility, the relation between climate change and development, the issue of who is responsible for the impacts of climate change and who has to pay for climate change mitigation and adaptation.


About the speaker

Joyeeta Gupta is professor of environment and development in the global south at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft. She is editor-in-chief of International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics and is on the editorial board of several other journals. She was lead author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment which won the Zaved Second Prize. She is on the scientific steering committees of international programmes including the Steering Committee of the Global Agricultural Research Partnership (CGIAR) research programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry; the Global Water Systems Project and Earth System Governance. At European level, she is a member of Science Europe’s Scientific Committee for the Social Sciences and of the Joint Programming Initiative - Climate Transdisciplinary Advisory Board in Brussels. She is also on the Board of Directors of Oxfam Novib and the Board of Commissioners of the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. She is Vice-President of the Commission on Development Cooperation and member of the Advisory Council on International Affairs, a statutory body that advises the Netherlands’ Government.

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About the seminars:

Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar Series

The Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar is a series launched by the Research Group on Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. The seminars of internationally acknowledged guest researchers and faculty members deal with current research topics in diplomacy, international relations, global affairs, and political economy broadly conceived and target a broad audience through their interdisciplinary focus.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. dr. M.O. Hosli (coordinator)

Dr. J.J. Kantorowicz

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