2017 in Environmental Politics

Until we solve environmental problems, every year is an interesting one for environmental politics. In 2017, there were small and large gains. The Minamata Convention on Mercury entered into force and held its first meeting. China launched a national cap and trade system for its power sector, renewing motivation to secure access to the market through trading “Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcome (ITMOs)” in the UN climate talks.

2017 saw a significant shift in the global agenda. Climate change used to dominate the attention of the public, scholars, and policy makers. Now, we’re talking about plastics and oceans. And, on all these issues, 2017 showed that when these major economies shudder, the world shakes, as China and the US took domestic action with international ramifications for climate change and waste.

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G20 Draws New Political Lines in Climate Governance

The G20 is an exclusive club of countries with economic might and political heft, perhaps particularly when it comes to climate change. This year, the G20 communiqué told us a good deal about the divisive future of global climate politics, and very little about the future of climate policy.

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