Most plans to combat climate change have failed due to lack of participation from the vast majority. This problem has led to the failure of the Kyoto protocol and is behind the failure of almost all initiative to combat climate change. However, the example of Copenhagen shows that such should not always be the case. […]
Most plans to combat climate change have failed due to lack of participation from the vast majority. This problem has led to the failure of the Kyoto protocol and is behind the failure of almost all initiative to combat climate change. However, the example of Copenhagen shows that such should not always be the case.
In Copenhagen majority of the people commute using bicycles and have shown that social pressure combined with strong community spirit and moral compass can get large groups of people to act positively on climate front.
Residents of Copenhagen used to have car dependency as much as anywhere else, however after the oil crisis in 1970 people began shifting to bicycles for commute and over time most of the residents have made the move. This happened due to a close knit community, strong social pressure to shift to bicycle and a critical mass of bicycle riders who made it easier for other people to shift to bicycle. Such acts by common people no matter how small are important for fight against climate change, however they are not enough.
The same principle can also be applied to countries with creation of ‘climate clubs’ where the same dynamics that caused people in Copenhagen to shift to bicycle from motor cars makes them take action on climate change. Climate change is a problem on global scale and it requires concerted global actions. This can be done by making ‘climate clubs’ according to William D. Nordhaus of Yale. He calls it the climate clubs theory.
According to the climate clubs theory theory countries may club together and make co-ordinated actions like reduction of carbon emissions and encouragement of lowering of carbon emissions through tax breaks. While at the same time the countries can effect tariff barriers against countries that are not in the group. This will create incentive to countries who free ride on carbon emission cuts of other countries to join the fight against climate change.
Bob Bingham says
The real cause of the failure is the power and the money which the USA oil and coal companies have used to disrupt any moves to restrict their activities. Most of the US government and media is still committed to a fossil fuel economy and will overcome Obama’s efforts as quickly as possible. http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/climate-threats.html