From Kyoto to Paris: An Analysis of the Politics of Multilateralism on Climate Change

From Kyoto to Paris: An Analysis of the Politics of Multilateralism on Climate Change

Moses Metumara Duruji (Covenant University, Nigeria), Faith O. Olanrewaju (Covenant University, Nigeria) and Favour U. Duruji-Moses (Covenant University, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3990-2.ch002

Abstract

The Earth Summit of 1992 held in Rio de Janeiro awakened the consciousness of the world to the danger of climate change. The establishment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change provided the platform for parties to negotiate on ways of moving forward. The global acknowledgement of the weightiness of the climate change and the future of the planet galvanized international agreements to this regard. Consequently, a landmark agreement was brokered in 1992 at Kyoto, Japan and 2015 in Paris, France. However, the strong issues of national interest tend to bedevil the implementation that would take the world forward on climate change. The chapter therefore examined multilateralism from the platform of climate change conferences and analyzed the political undertone behind disappointing outcomes even when most of the negotiators realized that the only way to salvage the impending doom is a multilateral binding agreement when nation-state can subsume their narrow interest.
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The Concept Of Multilateralism

Multilateralism is a concept of international relations that is different from unilateralism, bilateralism or regionalism. It is ‘the practice of coordinating national policies in groups of three or more states, through ad hoc arrangements or by means of an entrenched institutions’ (Keohane, 1990, p.731; Yarbrough and Yarbrough, 1992). To Ruggie (1992, pp.567-568), multilateralism meant ‘coordinating relations among three or more states’, but ‘in accordance with certain principles’ that govern dealings between them. These definitions limit it to arrangements involving states. It focuses mainly (albeit not exclusively) on institutions, defined as ‘inherited patterns of rules and relationships that can affect beliefs and expectations, and as potential tools for the pursuit of their own objectives’ (Keohane, 2000 p. 96; Keohane and Nye, 2000a; 2000b).

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