ENVS 092A. UNFCCC COP and International Climate Regime
The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) is a critically important annual event for global action on climate change,
but it is situated within a broader and more complex international climate change "regime". This
course provides a foundation for understanding the COP negotiations from a multitude of
perspectives stemming from and external to the UNFCCC - including international relations,
sustainable development, and multi-level climate governance. Key topics include: the structure
of the Paris Agreement (e.g., mitigation, adaptation, loss & damage, etc.) and other relevant
multilateral agreements (e.g., 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Sendai Framework for
Disaster Risk Reduction, New Urban Agenda, etc.), power dynamics in multilateral climate
negotiations, the role of non-state actors (e.g., sub-national governments, NGOs, private sector,
activists, etc.), and models for regime change to help meet the urgency of the moment. The
course will also cover current issues to be negotiated at this year's conference and other timely
analyses. Though not required, students are recommended to take POLS 081: Global
Environmental Governance concurrently for a further holistic view on environmental governance
beyond climate change.
*Note: This .5-credit course is open to all students, of whom only a subsection will be selected
via an application process to attend COP. That said, all students in the course will have
meaningful opportunities to engage virtually with the COP and related UNFCCC events.
Additionally, there will be at least one opportunity for students in the course to optionally attend
a high-level, climate policy event in NYC (possibly at UN Headquarters).
Eligible for GLBL-paired, POLS.
Catalog chapter: Environmental Studies
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/environmental-studies
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