Politics in Minutes (2016)

Pollution, climate change and global warming

One of the Green movement’s great successes has been to put environmental concerns onto national and international political agendas. However, raising issues and achieving change are two different matters, partly because tackling global warming, climate change and pollution is seen as having potentially damaging effects on energy and food production.

Since the 1980s, environmentalists have argued that human activities are changing Earth’s climate, warning that emissions from fossil fuels coupled with deforestation are causing pollution, land degradation, damaging the ozone layer and raising global temperatures. In 1992, more than 100 heads of state and governments met at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, reflecting the integration of environmental concerns into world politics. However, despite 1997’s Kyoto Protocol, governments and global corporations have not met targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions or developed internationally agreed strategies for tackling the problem.