Die Auswirkungen des UN-Urteils zu „Klimaflüchtlingen“
Obwohl nicht bindend, ist die Entscheidung des UN-Menschenrechtsausschusses die erste, die sich mit dem Versuch befasst, jemandem aufgrund der Auswirkungen des Klimawandels den Flüchtlingsstatus zu gewähren.
Look North: the Arctic Council as an example for the management of transboundary challenges?
In times during which multilateralism is often perceived as being in crisis and nationalism is on the rise, the Arctic Council seems to be a refreshing governance setting that encourages cooperation and the acceptance of shared responsibilities. In that regard, it serves also as a telling example in discussions on how to improve transnational cooperation to achieve shared goals as defined in visions such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Polar entanglements: a new perspective to explain political dynamics in the polar regions
Despite the disparities of the Polar Regions, many of the geopolitical imaginaries and interpretations that concern the Arctic and Antarctic are not only similar but also overlap. In my new book “Critical Geopolitics of the Polar Regions: An Inter-American Perspective” (Routledge), I investigate the different actors involved in the politics of the Polar Regions and the discourses that they shape to explain why similar patterns of interpretation have become dominant in regard to the Arctic and Antarctic and why these interpretations are prioritised differently today. By applying a new polar entanglement-perspective and by focusing specifically on policy making in regional settings (in the Arctic Council and in the Antarctic Treaty System) and in the American polar-rim states (Argentina, Canada, Chile and the US), the book provides evidence to three main explanations to the question under analysis.
Do environmental provisions in trade agreements make exports from developing countries greener?
Environmental provisions in preferential trade agreements (PTAs) are increasing in terms of their number and variety. The economic effects of these environmental provisions remain largely unclear. It is, therefore, necessary to determine whether the trend to incorporate environmental provisions in PTAs counteracts the goal to spur economic development through trade via these PTAs. This is the first article in which the trade effects of environmental provisions in PTAs are thoroughly investigated. The spotlight is put on developing countries for which the assumed trade-off between economic development and environmental protection is particularly acute. This article buses a new fine-grained dataset on a broad range of environmental provisions in 680 PTAs, combined with a panel of worldwide bilateral trade flows from 1984 to 2016. We show that environmental provisions can help reduce dirty exports and increase green exports from developing countries. This effect is particularly pronounced in developing countries with stringent environmental regulations. By investigating how environmental provisions in PTAs affect trade flows, this article contributes to the literature on the following topics: international trade and the environment; design and impacts of trade agreements; and greening the economy in developing countries. It also shows that the design of trade agreements matters. Environmental provisions can be used as targeted policy tools to promote the green transformation and to leverage synergies between the economic and environmental effects of including environmental provisions in trade agreements.
Indicators for energy transition targets in China and Germany: a text analysis
Indicators are an essential component of national strategies and policies relating to energy transition and regulation. Both China and Germany are expected to take the lead on the global effort to achieve clean energy and a reduction in GHG emissions. A better understanding of the institutional environment in both countries will guide those who follow them. By using text analysis, we have examined the main energy indicators used in official strategies and policies and divided them into ten categories. We have found that both countries value renewable energy as a solution to energy transition, although in China “non-fossil energy” appears more often in political documents, and “nuclear energy” is valued as an important source. In Germany, short-, medium- and long-term indicators are clearly stated and are consistent over time and between documents. Meanwhile, in China the indicators and targets are updated every five years, which fits with the rapid domestic development of the country but fails to provide a clear long-term vision. We argue that the roots of such differences can be found in governance systems, the global energy market, and national political and economic priorities, and that international cooperation is needed to standardize energy indicators so that the global energy transition can be navigated more effectively.
Social construction of pastureland: changing rules and resource-use rights in China and Kyrgyzstan
A fundamental problem in governing natural resources is how to design institutions, particularly property rights regimes, that support sustainable use and management of common property resources. Privatization of natural resources was a widespread solution to the “tragedy of the commons” during the 1980s and 1990s. But many such efforts failed to achieve sustainable use of resources, and policymakers are now experimenting with new types of policy interventions. We examine recent changes in pastoral institutions and their outcomes regarding resource-use rights and the sustainability of resource use in China and Kyrgyzstan. Interpreting changing property rights as a process of social construction, we examine altered rules and rights relations and the ensuing changes in legal correlates between various actors in selected choice settings. The article contributes to the literature regarding the impacts of such reforms on property rights and their development in pastoral contexts.
Who is energy poor? Evidence from the least developed regions in China
Energy poverty has become one of the major challenges faced by the world's energy system. However, there is no consensus on the measure of energy poverty. Several approaches have been proposed, among which the energy poverty line has been defined as the minimum quantity of energy required for basic life, particularly for cooking and heating. This paper estimates the relationship between energy expenditure and household income and identifies the energy poverty line based on the threshold above which the energy share becomes insensitive to household income using household survey data from rural Qinghai, China. Considering the ongoing energy transition and the negative impacts of biomass energy consumption for the environment and health, the study sets a scenario in which all bioenergy consumption is replaced with electricity. The findings show that 57% of rural households in rural Qinghai are energy poor. The phase of energy poverty in terms of basic energy access has passed, so increasing the share of efficient modern energy in household energy consumption requires more attention. Considering the existence of a population that is not income poor but is energy poor, a conventional policy design that primarily targets income-poor households may be inappropriate in this case.