On October 10, Prof. Urs Luterbacher of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva delivered the first lecture in this academic year’s International Relations Seminar Series. His talk, titled “Global Climate Policy: Actors, Concepts, and Enduring Challenges – Some Skeptical Thoughts About the Paris Agreement,” built on his latest research, published by MIT Press in 2018.
Prof. Luterbacher argued that climate change, which represents one of the greatest challenges of our time, can be effectively mitigated only collectively, with the help of stronger, top-down institutions. In his view, the Paris Agreement, due to its bottom-up, voluntary nature, does not go far enough in addressing climate change. He suggested that a return to key elements of the Kyoto Protocol – mandatory greenhouse gas reduction targets for industrialized countries – would be a welcome development, one that would bolster the effectiveness of the international climate change regime.