U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced last week that the 2015 Paris climate change accords will, in all likelihood, go into effect this year. These accords commit the U.S. and dozens of other nations to try to lower greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change.
But devising multilateral agreements is painstaking work. Typically, negotiators from hundreds of states deliberate for many years. Any agreement they reach often involves major compromises, which means provisions that experts consider important tend to be watered down
Nowhere is this more apparent than the case of the Paris Climate Change Accords. To break decades of multilateral gridlock on climate change, negotiators followed the mantra don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
But is there a cost to being flexible?
Strong words make treaties more effective. So is the Paris climate accord worded too flexibly?
Katerina Linos and Tom Pegram
Washington Post-The Monkey Cage, 29 September 2016.
One of the more unusual invitations to land in my inbox, on 3 November 2016 I gave evidence on global governance and a rules-based international order to the Liberal Democrat policy working group on international affairs. The working group has been established by the parliamentary party to examine and update party policy on Britain’s role in the world. Continue reading Supporting a rules-based international order
I have co-written an article with Katerina Linos about the Paris climate accord, drawing on our research to assess whether the accord can still be effective if compromises are made for flexible wording. Strong words make treaties more effective. So is the Paris climate accord worded too flexibly? Read the full article at the Washington Post here.
At a Global Governance Institute (GGI) public lecture in June with Mervyn King, former head of the Bank of England, Lord King reflected on the troubled state of global economic governance against a backdrop of “radical uncertainty”, meaning the kind of uncertainty that statistical analysis cannot model.
Radical uncertainty may be the motif of our times.
Continue reading UCL Global Governance Institute: A Year in Review
On 12-13 November 2015, we hosted an International Symposium on Global Governance at the UCL Institute of Global Governance. This two-day event sought to advance understanding of global governance scholarship by bringing together some of the world’s leading academics working in the field to share their insights on what is an evolving school of thought. Despite its relevance to key processes underlying the major global public policy questions of our age, the contours of ‘global governance’ remain contested, with few claiming it constitutes a theory or established field of study. Continue reading UCL-GGI Symposium: Towards a Third Generation of Global Governance Research and Practice