Saturday, June 20, 2009

GLOBALIZATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE

By definition, climate change is a global issue. The composition of the atmosphere which surrounds the planet is altering as a result of the emissions of tonnes of polluting gases (called greenhouse gases - GHGs) from industry, transportation, agriculture and consumer practices. With this thickening blanket of gases, the atmosphere is gradually warming. The entire planet will be affected by the climatic changes and impacts which are predicted e.g. increased droughts and floods, rising sea-levels, more extreme temperatures, etc.
The willingness of countries around the world to cooperate in the negotiation of treaties to address this global problem is a positive example of globalization - or perhaps this is better referred to as internationalism.Intensive discussions over an 18-month period before the 1992 Rio Earth Summit led to the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Negotiations have continued subsequently to develop another agreement for more specific emission reduction targets for industrialized countries.
There are many environmental impacts of economic globalization: transnational corporations moving operations to developing countries to avoid the stricter environmental regulations of their home country; free trade agreements which restrict the capacity of national governments to adopt environmental legislation; destruction of southern rain forests to provide exotic timber for northern consumers and to create pasture land for beef for northern hamburgers,oil spills in the seas and oceans destroying oceanic environment because of increasing number of business treaties and increasing shipping are to name a few.
The climate change issue illustrates how inter-related the world is both in terms of the causes of the problem and the options for addressing it.

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