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Why the Rise of Nationalist Populist Leaders Rewrites International Climate Negotiations

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The election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil is not the only sign of the rise of a foreign populist leader on the world stage. It is also a turning point for global climate change policy. When the new president takes office in January 2019, by my estimate, at least 30% of the airwaves will belong to a democratic government ruled by populist leaders.

As climate policy makers gather this week at the United Nations climate conference in Poland (a country itself dominated by a populist party), those concerned about meeting the Paris Agreement goals should to promote and develop new strategies to promote emission reduction policies in these countries. through them. leaders. Populism and the decline of nationalism
What is populist nationalism? Although populism and nationalism are contradictory terms, the political scientist Francis Fukuyama gives this link well of the characteristics associated with populist national leaders in democracy. First, these leaders narrowly define “the people” to refer to a unique national identity, often opposed to a ruler. Second, they promote policies that are popular among their electorate, or support base, in the short term, but which may not be the case in the long term economic, social, or the environment of the country. Third, populist nationalists are adept at exploiting their supporters’ cultural fear of social status quo.

Over the past five years, there have been many populist electoral victories in countries that are among the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. This includes the United States, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland and the Philippines. Although these governments each represent different forms of populist nationalism, 엠카지노 they share the main characteristics I have described. From my point of view as a researcher in charge of global energy and climate policy, it is clear that the political system of populist countries makes it difficult to introduce policies to reduce or reduce the impact on democracy.

Reductionist policies require leaders to trade short-term political costs for long-term economic and environmental benefits. However, the populists have shown a strong reluctance to do so, especially if these short-term costs affect the most important groups of people. 에볼루션게이밍

Perhaps the clearest example of this is the unveiling of President Donald Trump’s clean energy plan. It may bring short-term benefits to its base, which includes coal miners and related interests, but it does not support the long-term US energy market trend toward natural gas.

Resists Global Pressure

Second, as many country-level studies have shown, policy-making to reduce national emissions is often a top-down, elite exercise. This is especially true in middle-income democracies like Mexico or Indonesia. In these countries, mitigation policies, such as carbon taxes, do not come from large-scale social movements, but from a political process at the top that favors international and non-donor donors. the people of the country. In these countries, climate change mitigation risks are replaced by more popular policies. Putin’s Biggest Mistake? Unable to Grasp Ukraine’s Developing National Identity

In an upcoming article on Mexico, my colleague and I analyzed the austerity policies of the new President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). AMLO’s administration has publicly agreed to reduce emissions through a low-carbon pricing policy, while responding to popular demands for lower oil prices by increasing domestic fuel consumption. In the battle between the above reduction policy and the demands for lower gas prices, the latter may prevail. The third issue concerns international governance of climate change mitigation. Under the Paris Agreement, governments are called on to gradually increase their emissions reduction targets.

This process assumes that political leaders will respond to international pressure to increase their demands. However, populist nationalists have shown that they are unimpressed by the international reaction to their climate policy. Take Indonesian President Joko Widodo for example, who was elected in 2014. As I explained elsewhere, one of the first things he did in office was to stop the policy to reduce the one billion approved by the Norwegian government. This decision to close the company is against the agreement between Indonesia and Norway, and points to the disdain shown by some of these leaders in the face of international political pressure.

As these short stories suggest, the process by which populist Nationalists hold and maintain political power makes it difficult to implement climate change mitigation strategies. Their preference is to prioritize short-term programs that will benefit their members rather than long-term mitigation strategies that have widespread economic and environmental benefits. Also, because they do not respect the traditional values ​​of international relations, it is impossible to force this group to fulfill the goals of the Paris Agreement.

However, there are ways countries that want to build consensus on global climate policy can better engage these leaders. Ways to get involved
As a start, it is important to outline the short-term benefits of climate change mitigation policies for populists.

I believe that policymakers and advocates would do well to focus on how clean energy can bring many short-term benefits to the people who depend on it, including reducing pollution from indoor air, cheaper energy, better health outcomes and less dependency. and import of fuel from other countries. In fact, some of these points, Bolsonaro, announced recently that he will increase the country’s electric and nuclear power.

Furthermore, recent research shows that the cultural dimension of populist nationalism is the most important. Instead of reducing emissions and fighting global climate change, it may be better to plan reductions as part of a larger modern effort; that is, to modernize energy systems, transport systems and infrastructure. Narratives built around modernity, highlighting economic and social benefits for all, can make middle-class groups unhappy who have led to the rise of populist nationalism. At the international level too, there may be some way to ensure that international governance is maintained despite the current populist national crisis.

As researchers David Victor and Bruce Jones have argued recently, it may be useful to create small groups – or clubs – of countries with similar interests to focus on clean technologies and new rules. Focusing on common interests within small clubs can be more effective than trying to pressure populist nationalists into conforming to sweeping international agreements.

Populist nationalist leaders, like Bolsonaro, are the consequence of deep-rooted economic, political and cultural changes that have occurred in democracies over decades. These leaders, in other words, may be part of democratic politics for some time in the future.

In order to maintain progress in the global climate agreement, I think it is very important that the negotiating countries meet populist leaders on their own terms to try to save the climate. A Look at the Politics of Pandemic


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