A Comparative Assessment of Climate Policies of Top Emitters: Towards Strengthening Climate Diplomacy and Action

Part of the International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice book series (IPSPAP)


Top emitters of the world account for nearly three-quarters of global emissions, yet they are unwilling to do substantial to meaningfully mitigate climate change risks. In the current climate policy landscape, the prospects for a rational climate policy are exceedingly vague. Several negotiations, agreements and policies have failed consistently for the last several decades. This chapter evaluates the climate policies of top emitting countries by using four broad criteria, namely, environmental effectiveness, economic efficiency, equity and political feasibility. The chapter first delineates the rationale and general evaluative framework of the analysis and then investigates top emitters’ climate policies according to the four perspectives indicated. On the basis of the analysis, top emitters are clustered according to their performances in the determinants of climate policy into three main actors—Laggards, Average and Pushers. The chapter shows that political feasibility is the weakest component in top emitters’ current climate policies, followed by equity concerns, whilst environmental effectiveness appears to be the most successful constituent and much progress is still required in the domain of economic efficiency. Finally, the chapter points out some common threads in, and emerging issues from, top emitters’ climate policies. The chapter concludes that the politics of climate change, energy policy and the environmental justice might be reoriented in ways that could result in more robust and sustainable political consensus for action.


Climate policy evaluation Environmental effectiveness Economic efficiency Equity Mitigation Political feasibility 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociologia e Ricerca SocialeUniversità degli Studi di Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly
  2. 2.DST-Centre for Policy ResearchSchool for Environmental Sciences, BBAULucknowIndia

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