The new targets for carbon emissions reductions agreed on by the United States and China at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, is important for understanding the risks and strategic responses to global climate change (GCC).
President Barack Obama announced the United States commitment to emit 26 percent to 28 percent less carbon in 2025 than it did in 2005 (double the pace of reduction it targeted for the period from 2005 to 2020). President Xi Jinping pledged to boost the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix to around 20 percent by 2030. Other plans include one initiative that aims to reduce pollution by cities, and another that encourages trade in “green goods” and environmentally clean technology.
A key component of the GCC’s political strategy has been to engage in a public debate over the science of climate change (Levy and Rothenberg, 2002). Organizational scholars conceptualize that responsiveness to institutional pressures as a strategic choice (Goodstein, 1994), are based on assumptions and forecasts that arise within an institutional environment. In particular – causes, constituents, content, control, and context – are considered forces motivating strategic responsiveness to institutional pressures.
The Climate Accord expresses with greater certainty the fact that aggregate economic losses accelerate with increasing temperature, though global economic impacts from climate change are currently difficult to estimate. Now, there will be strong pressure on India, Brazil and other large developing countries to make a move. The government of India must carefully consider its strategic response, as whether to follow the principles of this deal, or take the climate talks in a new direction.