Perceptions of the effectiveness of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in prompting behavioural change

TitlePerceptions of the effectiveness of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in prompting behavioural change
Publication TypeTyndall Working Paper
SeriesTyndall Centre Working Papers
Tyndall Consortium Institution

UEA

Secondary TitleTyndall Centre Working Paper 92
KeywordsPerceptions of the effectiveness, prompting behavioural change, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
AuthorsTompkins, E., and H. Amundsen
Year of Publication2005
Abstract

This paper aims to characterise some of the ways in which the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is trickling down to effect national level action on climate change. State and non state actors are interviewed at the 8th UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP8) during October and November 2002. The interviews reveal that climate change is already perceived to be a priority issue, or is becoming one. In all countries much legislation is already in place to facilitate climate change preparedness (both adaptation and mitigation), although respondents suggest that in the majority of cases these changes are not being developed in response to the UNFCCC but to other drivers. While changes were seen at the national level, mostly through planning and research, few saw action at the local level. Respondents agreed that climate risks must be managed through both national mitigation and adaptation, with many highlighting the importance of finding ways to participate in the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms and managing the impacts of foreign direct investments. The majority of respondents focussed on in-country actions such as identifying the most vulnerable groups, few identified the need for greater global cooperation. To conclude, the Convention plays a role in shaping the discourse of climate change and in generating national level responses. These responses are played out differently according to the geographic, environmental, economic, social and cultural conditions of each country. The Convention is clearly important, but perhaps it is not adequate to shape a total response to climate change. There appears to be scope for additional initiatives, through collaboration, trade or aid, and through bilateral arrangements.

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