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Published: 2012

Great expectations: understanding why the UN climate talks seem to fail

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Year after year, the United Nations climate negotiations seem to fail the test of saving the global climate in the public eye. This briefing paper argues that the expectations placed on the UN climate regime are simply too high, which is damaging as they resonate with sceptics of international climate policy and UN multilateralism in general. Nevertheless, the UN climate regime plays a crucial role by catalysing climate action, building a common vision between different states, enhancing transparency and promoting the diffusion of novel policy ideas and instruments. According to the paper, the role of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) could be further strengthened by allowing it to act as an orchestrator which coordinates the array of initiatives.
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A. Vihma

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