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Do Differences in Climate Change Policy Reflect Different Cultures and Vice Versa?

: Jochem, E.

Energy and Environment 9 (1998), Nr.4, S.413-423
ISSN: 0958-305X
Fraunhofer ISI ()

The Pre-Kyoto period and the outcome of the Kyoto conference demonstrated significant differences between the climate change policy in the United States and that in Western Europe. Although scientific methods and knowledge are universal and globally available, the scientific results on climate change are taken up differently by the political systems on each side of the Atlantic. Different preferences for the results of economic modelling may be due to fifferences in the expectation of the average. American/European of the governement's responsibility, different reactions in cases of uncertainty, in the political system, the openness of public controversialdiscussions, and in the lobbyist intensity of interest groups. Both industrialized regions, however, face the problem of the short-term orientation of market economies and of the voters of representative national democracies versus the very long-term necessities of climate change policy. The different views and traditions on each side of the Atlantic could be used for a very fruitful process of global climate change policy.