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ENVIRONMENTAL DIPLOMACY: ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE ON A GLOBAL SCALE

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ENVIRONMENTAL DIPLOMACY: ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE ON A GLOBAL SCALE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Climate change has emerged as a prominent and fundamental concern in contemporary society. The implications of climate change include a range of phenomena, including but not limited to the escalating frequency and severity of severe weather events, the upward trend in sea levels, and the phenomenon of ocean acidification. Greenhouse gas emissions have been recognised by the scientific community as the principal catalyst for climate change, mostly attributed to the combustion of fossil fuels (Chandio, Dash, Nathaniel, Sargani, & Jiang, 2023). Global endeavours to tackle climate change have been in process for many decades, however advancements have been sluggish. The signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015 was a noteworthy achievement in international collaboration aimed at addressing the issue of climate change. Nevertheless, the decision made by the United States to withdraw from the deal in 2017 and the subsequent absence of substantial advancements have brought attention to the difficulties associated with tackling climate change on a global scale (Vanhala & Hestbaek, 2016). The primary objective of this research article is to conduct an analysis of global initiatives aimed at mitigating climate change, with a specific emphasis on the policies and methods used by diverse nations and organisations. The report will assess the efficacy of these endeavours in alleviating climate change and investigate potential avenues for tackling this problem in the future (Trenberth, 2018). 

Climate change is widely seen as a paramount issue in the 21st century, presenting substantial risks to ecological systems, human communities, and global economy. With the ongoing warming of the Earth's climate caused by human activities like burning fossil fuels and deforestation, there is a growing need for global action to effectively address and adapt to these changes. The significance of environmental diplomacy in tackling climate change at a global level has been emphasised by Thomas and Benjamin (2018). Global cooperation encompasses the process of engaging in negotiations, reaching agreements, and fostering collaborations among nations, international organisations, non-governmental entities, and various stakeholders. The primary objective of this process is to formulate and execute policies and strategies that effectively address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard vulnerable populations, and advance sustainable development.

The intricacy of environmental diplomacy is in the delicate equilibrium between the varied interests, goals, and capacities of distinct nations, all the while endeavouring to foster collaborative efforts in addressing the issue of climate change (Thomas & Benjamin, 2017). The intricacy is also exacerbated by scientific ambiguities, socio-economic inequalities, and geopolitical conflicts, which may impede collaboration and impede advancement towards significant resolutions. 

The Paris Agreement, which was ratified in 2015 within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), signifies a significant milestone in the realm of environmental diplomacy. The objective is to restrict the increase in global temperatures to a level much lower than 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, with endeavours to attain a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is achieved via the implementation of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and the promotion of greater international cooperation (Surminski, 2016). Nevertheless, despite the implementation of the Paris Agreement and other global initiatives, the rate of climate action continues to be inadequate in achieving the lofty objectives established to prevent the most devastating consequences of climate change. The disparity between existing obligations and the necessary requirements to accomplish these objectives highlights the persistent obstacles confronting environmental diplomacy (Preston, 2017). 

The mitigation of climate change requires the establishment of ambitious objectives and policies, with the implementation, monitoring, and enforcement systems that are successful. Furthermore, it necessitates the use of inventive methodologies, novel technology, and strengthened global collaboration across several domains, encompassing energy, transportation, agriculture, and finance. The primary objective of this research is to investigate the concept of environmental diplomacy within the framework of tackling climate change at a global level (Goering, 2017). The objective of this study is to examine the primary stakeholders, procedures, obstacles, and prospects associated with global endeavours to alleviate and adjust to climate change. This study seeks to enhance comprehension of how environmental diplomacy may be reinforced and used to expedite advancement towards a more sustainable and resilient future for everybody by examining previous experiences, present trends, and future opportunitie.

Statement of the problem

The objective of this research is to examine the complex domain of environmental diplomacy as a crucial instrument for addressing the many issues presented by climate change at a global level. Given the increasing severity of climate change, it is essential to establish collaborative endeavours among countries, assisted by diplomatic channels, in order to alleviate its detrimental consequences and promote sustainable resolutions (Fitzpatrick, 2019). The objective of this study is to explore the many aspects of environmental diplomacy, analysing its influence on the formation of global accords, policies, and endeavours designed to address the issue of climate change. The research seeks to clarify the efficacy and limitations of diplomatic efforts in tackling climate change by examining historical antecedents, present diplomatic initiatives, and future possibilities. This research seeks to enhance our understanding of the role of environmental diplomacy in tackling the urgent issue of climate change by conducting a thorough investigation of these elements (Bryant, 2019). Through a comprehensive analysis of the intricate nature and potential advantages associated with diplomatic endeavours, this study aims to provide valuable insights to policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders as they strive to achieve sustainable and cooperative resolutions on a worldwide level. Hence, the study will examine environmental diplomacy: addressing climate change on a global scale.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to examine environmental diplomacy: addressing climate change on a global scale. The specific objectives is as follows

Assess the effectiveness of existing environmental diplomacy initiatives in Nigeria

Analyze the role of international treaties and agreements in climate change mitigation.

Explore the influence of  political factors on environmental diplomacy

Identify the innovative strategies for enhancing environmental diplomacy

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared to guide the study

How effective are the existing environmental diplomacy initiatives in Nigeria?

What is the role of international treaties and agreements in climate change mitigation?

What is the influence of  political factors on environmental diplomacy?

What are the innovative strategies for enhancing environmental diplomacy?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to the following

Policymakers: By studying environmental diplomacy in the context of climate change, policymakers can gain insights into the effectiveness of international agreements, negotiations, and collaborations. This knowledge can inform the development of more robust climate policies that consider diverse interests and promote cooperation among nations.

Academia: The study can also serve educational purposes by raising awareness about the importance of environmental diplomacy in combating climate change. By disseminating findings to the public, policymakers, and stakeholders, the study can inspire informed decision-making and collective action towards a sustainable future.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on environmental diplomacy: addressing climate change on a global scale.  Empirically, the study will assess the effectiveness of existing environmental diplomacy initiatives in Nigeria, analyze the role of international treaties and agreements in climate change mitigation, explore the influence of  political factors on environmental diplomacy and identify the innovative strategies for enhancing environmental diplomacy.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Definition of terms

Environmental Diplomacy: The practice and process of negotiation, dialogue, and cooperation among nations, international organizations, and other stakeholders to address environmental issues, with the aim of achieving mutually beneficial outcomes, sustainable development, and environmental protection.

Climate Change: Refers to significant and long-term alterations in the Earth's climate patterns, including variations in temperature, precipitation, sea levels, and extreme weather events, primarily resulting from human activities such as the emission of greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide, methane) and deforestation.

Global Scale: Pertaining to actions, processes, or phenomena that extend across the entire planet, involving multiple countries, regions, or continents, rather than being limited to specific geographical boundaries or jurisdictions.


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