Struggling With Expectations and Changing Realities: International Climate Negotiations

Although the UNFCCC sets a direction and defines a number of tools and mechanisms, it does not provide any clear strategy on how to solve the climate crisis.  International climate negotiations do not formulate policies.  Instead, they leave the international process up to national governments to decide on how to reduce emissions.  International goals and pledges may provide policymakers with a direction, but they do not formulate recipes on how to generate energy and feed an increasing world population while protecting the global climate.  The challenge is formidable, and time is running out.  By the same token, climate finance and the institutional arrangements underpinning it are likely to remain decentralized and diverse.  Although fragmentation poses the risk of inefficiencies and duplication of efforts, recent developments under the UNFCCC carry the promise that climate negotiations are able to adapt to changing realities and may provide a framework for country-driven and multistakeholder-driven climate policies.

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