Tagged: national interests

My piece for openDemocracy: The failure of international summitry

How can cooperation be designed to be in every nation’s best interests in the long and short-term? And how can we, citizens, make failure so costly that politicians have no choice but to cooperate?

These days, international summits to solve climate change and other global problems have become symbols of both hope and failure: hope that our leaders will take substantive action, but knowledge that these summits too often produce little more than hot air. Aware of the global challenges we face, we can’t understand why they don’t act. So what’s wrong with international summits? And what can we do about it?

My piece on the failure of international summitry, currently featured on the front page of openDemocracy. Read the article in full and share your comments here.


Why Kofi Annan Is Wrong About National Self-Interest and Climate Change

After the disappointing climate change talks in Warsaw, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has admonished governments to “put aside narrow national interests” in pursuit of reducing carbon emissions. In my Huffington Post piece published this week, I question the logic in pitting the idea of ‘national interest’ against the long term goal of climate change reduction:

Annan’s statement suggests that national self-interest and decisive action on climate change are mutually exclusive. Indeed, this seems to be everyone’s general assumption. But they don’t have to be. Strange as it may seem, making dramatic cuts in carbon emissions can be made to be in each nation’s self-interest; not just in the longer-term (in the sense that we all need a stable climate to survive), but in the short-term too.

How? Read my full article on the Huffington Post to find out.