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The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

School of Professional Education and Executive Development


General University Requirements (GUR)

SPD2318 Exploring International Relations


in the Contemporary World
(Semester 1, 2016/17)

Individual
Assignment
(1st Draft)

Name: Tang Yee Tung Connie


Student Number: 16018481D
Tutorial Group: F11
Subject Lecturer: Jean-Franois Dupr
Language Instructor: Elaine Ng
Word Count: 1140 words

SPD2318 Exploring International Relations in the


Contemporary World
Argumentative essay, Draft 1 Checklist
Use this checklist before submitting your first draft to ensure that it meets all the
requirements. If you are missing any of the required elements, revise the draft.

The first draft


is at least 1000 words long
is font size 12, double-spaced
includes in-text and end-of-text references for all sources used
The introduction
introduces the topic and gets the readers interest
gives brief background information on the topic
states your thesis statement (your view/argument regarding the
question)
shows how the essay is organized (optional)
The body paragraphs
Each body paragraph of the essay should have a topic sentence.
The topic sentence should support the thesis and have the
complete main idea of the paragraph.
Develop the topic sentence with some discussion of concepts,
examples, explanation, data and statistics.
Argue your view with evidence to support it.
May include counter-arguments and refutations (optional)
References
A list of references (APA, Harvard or Chicago) matches the in-text
references.
The required reading has in-text citation(s) and an end-of-text
reference
Note: So that the Language teacher can best give you feedback,
include a plan for your entire essay. To do this, include topic
sentences for each body paragraph that you plan to have.

SPD2318 Exploring International Relations in the


Contemporary World
Argumentative essay, Draft 2 Checklist
Use this checklist before submitting your second draft to ensure that it meets all
the requirements.

The second draft


is about 1800 words long
is font size 12, double-spaced
is revised based on the Feedback Report, and extended with new
content
includes in-text and end-of-text references for all sources used
The introduction
is revised and improved if needed
The body paragraphs (revised and extended)
Each body paragraph of the essay should have a topic sentence.
The topic sentence should support the thesis and have the
complete main idea of the paragraph.
Develop the topic sentence with discussion of concepts,
examples, explanation, data and statistics.
Argue your view with evidence to support it.
May include counter-arguments and refutations (optional)
The conclusion
Restates the thesis statement/purpose of the essay
Summarizes the main ideas of the body paragraphs
Gives your final word and/or recommendation on the topic
References
A list of references (APA, Harvard or Chicago) matches the in-text
references
The required reading has in-text citation(s) and an end-of-text
reference

Reflection on your major revisions/development in Draft 2 (around 50 words; only


needed when submitting Draft 2)

type in here when submitting your Draft 2; leave it blank for Draft 1)
(only

Question1: Identify and discuss three major difficulties that obstruct a concerted effort
by the international society to tackle climate change.

Since Industrial Revolution, the development of different countries caused crisis on

our future. As the use of fossil fuels increases, the greenhouse gas emissions also increase,
causing the earths climate to warm up. This has already imposed negative impacts on
different areas like the ecosystem, agricultural production and humans health. Therefore, the
international society started to increase their awareness on climate change and find ways to
tackle the problem. However, there are three major difficulties that obstruct the concerted
effort by the international society to tackle climate change, which are the economic growth,
the motivation of countries and the effectiveness of the concerted effort.

First, the efforts to deal with climate change like emission reductions will slow down

the economic growth of countries. Nowadays, many countries still value their economy prior
to the environment, in order to maintain their economic status and develop more wisely,
sometimes they had to ignore the negative impacts imposed on the environment. For
example, the United States, which is one of the main industrialized countries, produced 16%
of the worlds total greenhouse gas emissions. However, it refused to sign and join Kyoto
Protocol as the government believed that cutting greenhouse gas emissions would harm the
economic development of the U.S. Therefore, it proves that the government will place more
of their concerns on the economy rather than on the environment. It is also a blow for the
international society to tackle climate change. In addition, some developing countries that
highly dependent on the production and use of fossil fuels will have great difficulties on
tackling climate change. It is because another way to replace the use of fossil fuels is
developing renewable energy, which is relatively more costly, this would become a burden on
countries. They may not have enough funding to develop such technologies. For example,
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Russia is the worlds fifth largest greenhouse gas producer, which has a powerful carbonintensive industry, its government has been opposed to any policies that tackle climate change
over the past two decades as this will damage Russias natural resource sector. Also, it
became the largest oil exporter in 2009, so they will have a strong interest in continue using
fossil fuels as it is beneficial for their economy. As mentioned before, developing countries
have larger challenges in tackling climate change than developed countries as they lack of
capital. Therefore, in 2009, developed countries promised to deliver $100 billion to
developing countries annually by 2020, in the purpose to assist them to cope with climate
change. However, at the Paris climate conference in 2015, developing countries strived for a
higher funding from developed countries after 2020, which means they may not have enough
capital for building renewable energy to deal with climate change. But the U.S, EU and other
rich nations did not guarantee for a larger amount of funding. So developing countries will
have particular financial difficulties in tackling climate change.

Second, although the international society has negotiate a concerted effort to tackle

climate change, countries do not have enough motivation to implement the effort. One of the
reason is about the binding force of contract, if not all the agreement is legally binding, the
government of countries which signed the contract can default their commitment, and once
they have the choice to renege their commitment, their motivation to meet the target of
tackling climate change decrease. For example, Canada formally withdrew from Kyoto
Protocol in 2011 as it failed to reach the emission target, which its emissions are more than
30% above the target. Recognizing this, Kent invoked their legal right to formally pull out of
Kyoto which allowed them to save $14 billion of penalties. Therefore, there is some loophole
on the binding force of Kyoto and led to failure of countries to tackle climate change.
Another reason about the lack of motivation of countries is that they are not willing to tackle
the problem actually, facing the interest in front of them, they will just forget about their
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concerted effort. James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, pointed out that Paris
Agreement is a fraud. He thinks that that nations who signed the agreement will act nothing,
just only make a promise, many countries just see and wait for the implementation of the
effort of other countries but not be the first one. According to some environmental
organizations experts, they warned us that as the oil prices have fallen more than 60% in
recent years, this will reduce the intention for countries to use renewable energy. Thats all
because countries do not enough motivation and determination to stand tight in front of
benefits, some of them would like to pursue short-term interests rather than long-term and
uncertain interests and this become an obstruct for them to tackle climate change.

Third, some of the concerted effort may not be effective enough to tackle climate

change. Using Paris Agreement as an example, its main objective is to limit the global
temperature to rise below 2C than pre-industrial level, and pursue effort to strive for 1.5C.
After the agreement was passed, many people was happy and celebrated it as they think the
agreement can help them to tackle climate change effectively. However, it isnt the truth.
According to the research by Climate Central, it states that the global climate temperature has
already rise 1C above pre-industrial level, and it shows that it will take less time to rise from
1C to 2C if the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions continues. In addition, according
to the scientists in different countries, they claimed that even if human on earth disappear
immediately, stop burning fossil fuels and cut their greenhouse gas emissions, the global
temperature will still rise 0.5C before 2050. Therefore, it means the level of feasibility and
effectiveness of the objective Paris Agreement are questioned. Besides, refer to the research
done by Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, it states that the climate impact of Paris Agreement is very tiny:
if every countries fulfill their promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will only be
0.048C by 2100. Hence, the influence of the agreement is very small, it is not enough to
tackle climate change.
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In conclusion, although there are difficulties for the international society to tackle

climate change, we should not give up, instead, we should carry out more solutions to solve
the problem as it is a serious matter that will affect humans lives. Countries can build mutual
trust between other countries and seek for an opportunity to corporate with other countries to
tackle climate change together. Moreover, the public awareness of climate change is also
important, governments should increase the public awareness about the seriousness and
consequences of climate change so that all citizens will work together to deal with the
problem. This will be an endless fight and we should have enough willpower to cope with it.

References

Giddens, A. (2009). The Politics of Climate Change. Cambridge; Malden, MA: Polity,
pp. 1-226

White, D. (2014, July 2). US refuses to sign pact to stem global warming. Retrieved
October 1, 2016, from News & Issues,
http://usliberals.about.com/od/environmentalconcerns/p/KyotoProtocol.htm

Harvey, F. (2016, April 14). Paris climate change agreement: The worlds greatest
diplomatic success. Retrieved October 1, 2016, from The Guardian.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/13/paris-climate-deal-copdiplomacy-developing-united-nations

McCarthy, S. (2012, September 6). Canada formally abandons Kyoto protocol on


climate change. Retrieved October 1, 2016, from The Global And Mail,
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-formally-abandons-kyotoprotocol-on-climate-change/article4180809/

Milman, O. (2015, December 14). James Hansen, father of climate change awareness,
calls Paris talks a fraud. Retrieved October 1, 2016, from The Guardian.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/12/james-hansen-climatechange-paris-talks-fraud


A major milestone: 1C. (2015, December 9). Retrieved October 2, 2016, from
Climate Central, http://www.climatecentral.org/gallery/graphics/a-major-milestone?
utm_content=bufferf5275&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_c
ampaign=buffer

Lomborg, B. (1998). Paris climate promises will reduce temperatures by just 0.05C
in 2100 (press release). Retrieved October 3, 2016, from
http://www.lomborg.com/press-release-research-reveals-negligible-impact-of-parisclimate-promises

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