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In this essay, the author assess the threat of China’s increasing demand of energy and whether conflict is imminent. The author analyzes the cases of potential conflict, particularly in the East China Sea and the Middle East. The probability of conflict is then assessed in each of these cases in accordance with recent developments.
By Abd Al-Aziz Abu Al-Huda, 20th April, 2012
Access to energy resources is a vital ingredient to the economic and military development of any state in the international system. Yet, within the past two decades, China’s quest for energy resources has particularly generated much debate and criticism. The commonly held opinion is that China’s pursuit for energy resources is a prelude to conflict with the International community because China poses a long term threat on energy supplies. However, such observations have been criticized by scholars such as Kung-wing Au and Hongyi Harry Lai, who emphasize that China’s growing demand for energy has in fact increased its vulnerability resulting in gradual cooperation.
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In this article, the author explores the world of climate change diplomacy and the international efforts, or lack thereof, in fighting climate change.
By Ugo Ribet, 1 Nov, 2011
From the 28November – 9 December, the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP-17) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be meeting in Durban, South Africa, for the next round of climate change talks and negotiations.
The COP were set up nearly twenty years ago as meetings which would refine, improve and extend climate protection beyond the initial principles established in the UNFCCC in 1992. They form the basis of what is now known as the state led global climate regime: “a system of principles, norms, rules, operating procedures and institutions that authors agree or accept to regulate and coordinate actions” in climate protection[i]. The idea behind the regime is that the atmosphere is a global common and the effects of climate change go beyond state borders, thus requiring collective action. It provides a global solution to a global problem.
Progress was made in the early years, especially at COP-3 where the Kyoto protocol set out emissions targets for developed countries as well as mechanisms and funds to help developing countries to participate. However, since then it has achieved very little. The regime increasingly seems unable limit the global temperature rise under 2ºC (relative to 1980-1999) as the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommends to prevent the risks of abrupt or irreversible changes. Following the disappointments of COP-15 in Copenhagen and COP-16 in Cancun, the Durban meeting is already seen as a ‘last chance’ to take concrete action and support global climate change mitigation. Indeed, very little has been achieved in terms of setting effective binding targets on green house gas emissions (GHG), and more importantly no realistic agreement has been reached for post 2012 when the Kyoto protocol first commitment period runs out.