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United Nations Climate Change Conference - Wikipedia
Voluntary Environmental Agreements. Many, if not all, countries in Europe and the developing world remain committed to negotiating a global climate deal. They believe that only a universal and comprehensive treaty with firm commitments for emission reductions stands a chance of averting the threat posed by global warming. Other countries, including major emitters such as the United States, remain wary of this approach. They either hold that reaching an agreement on a global treaty is unrealistic or would not wish to be legally bound by such a treaty in any case.
Either way, they prefer to build elements of global climate policy from the bottom up, by taking action at the domestic level. Major emerging economies such as China have similar concerns about sovereignty, but join the G77 bloc of developing countries in demanding a legally binding framework for mitigation by industrialised nations. Little has thus changed in the way in which the major players in climate politics define their interests.
In the light of these conflicting positions, this article reviews the options for future international climate policy. This alternative, as we argue below, is already emergent in international politics. For this to produce results, a more strategic approach is needed to ensure that — over time — such partial elements add up to an ambitious and internationally coordinated climate policy, which does not drive down the level of aspiration and commitment.