NATIONAL CHENG KUNG UNIVERSITY, TAINAN, TAIWAN
BANYAN
Volume 15 Issue 1 - August 6, 2010
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Commentary
Thomas Hale
A coalition of the willing
Article Digest
Changshu Kuo
Direct Fabrication of Hollow ZnO Nanotubes from the Electrospinning of Zn2+/Polyanions
Sheng-Kwang Hwang
All-optical frequency conversion using nonlinear dynamics of semiconductor lasers
SU-CHUAN LIN
The Symbol of Funeral Eating and Drinking, Implication and Enlightenment Functions―Take Book of Rites and Han Dynasty as Discourse Back Ground
Ya-Hui Yang
A statistical study of hard X-ray footpoint motions in large solar flares
News Release
NCKU Press Center
NCKU College of Engineering and NCKU Hospital Cooperated to Develop Rehabilitation Robot
NCKU Press Center
NCKU Century-Old Banyan Shoots Planted in National Quemoy University
Banyan Forum
Opportunities
Activities
Editorial Group
A coalition of the willing
Thomas Hale1, Scott Moore2
1PhD candidate in the department of politics at Princeton University
2Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute
As climate talks get under way in Bonn, Thomas Hale and Scott Moore call for a radical new approach to cutting emissions that sidesteps intergovernmental deadlock and unites eager players, from Wal-Mart to city halls.

What do California, the European Union, Wal-Mart, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection and the reader of this article have in common? They, not nation states, are now the frontline in the struggle to make the climate safe for future generations.

Intergovernmental efforts to limit the gases that cause climate change have all but failed. After the December 2009 Copenhagen summit, it's hard to see how major emitters will soon agree on mutual emissions reductions sufficiently ambitious to prevent significant changes to Earth's climate.

This is because international negotiations depend on countries – and the two largest emitters in particular, the United States and China. Climate-change legislation in the US, widely perceived as a prerequisite to a global agreement, remains trapped in a dysfunctional Senate. At the same time, the Chinese Communist Party worries about the effects emissions cuts would have on economic growth and social stability. While it has pledged to reduce the intensity of China's emissions, the government has yet to commit to internationally verifiable reductions. Each country wants the other to move first, but with gridlock in Washington and Beijing, the world cannot expect a global climate agreement any time soon.

But this need not mean resigning ourselves to rising sea levels, declining agricultural yields and other dangers of climate change. Nor need we wring our hands at the recalcitrance of the “G2”. We can make second-best – but still worthwhile – progress toward mitigating climate change without a multilateral treaty. What we need now is a coalition of the willing to act where the intergovernmental process has failed.


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