The international politics of global warming : a non-governmental account.
This PhD project explores the political influence of four sets of non-governmental
actors upon the international politics of global warming. The forms of influence
attributable to Working Group 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(the body set up to advise governments on the science of climate change), the mass
media's coverage of global warming, and the political involvement of both the fossil
fuel lobbies and environmental groups in the policy debate on climate change, are
understood via use of literatures on the dimensions of power appropriate to
understanding the significance of non-state actors. The project stems from a widely
acknowledged absence of a detailed understanding of the role of non-governmental
organisations in international environmental politics, which extends to the international
politics of global warming.
The influence of each group of actors is conceptualised in different ways, so that the
forms of power used to describe the various groups are not compared. Rather, the aim
of the thesis is to assess what a less state-centred reading of the international politics of
global warming, derived from a discussion of the role of the above actors, has to offer
existing explanations. The analysis of these groups of actors sheds light on different
aspects of the way the issue of climate change has been addressed at the international
level. The conclusions drawn about the influence of these actors are used to critique the
popular use of Regime accounts in international environmental politics that focus upon the process of institutional bargaining between states, which are argued to provide an
inadequate basis for explanation of the global politics of climate change.