Stewart M. Patrick

The Internationalist

Patrick assesses the future of world order, state sovereignty, and multilateral cooperation.

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Showing posts for "Climate Change"

A Brighter Future for the Planet

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A photo taken by Expedition 46 flight engineer Tim Peake International Space Station shows Italy, the Alps, and the Mediterranean on January, 25, 2016 (Reuters/NASA). A photo taken by Expedition 46 flight engineer Tim Peake International Space Station shows Italy, the Alps, and the Mediterranean on January, 25, 2016 (Reuters/NASA).

Coauthored with Naomi Egel, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations

This year, the global environmental outlook is sunnier than last Earth Day. Read more »

A G20 Agenda for China: Meeting the World’s Infrastructure, Climate, and Development Needs

by Stewart M. Patrick
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing, China, on January 16, 2016. Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during the opening ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing, China, on January 16, 2016 (Mark Schiefelbein/Reuters).

This week thousands of government officials, journalists, academics, and private sector and civil society representatives convene in Washington for the spring meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. But the most important event for global economic governance occurs later this year. And it won’t be in the United States. In September, China will host the eleventh summit of the Group of Twenty (G20) in the eastern city of Hangzhou, one of the country’s ancient capitals. Read more »

Paris is Just One Piece of the Climate Change Puzzle

by Stewart M. Patrick
The Eiffel Tower is seen at sunset in Paris, France, on November 22, 2015. The Eiffel Tower is seen at sunset in Paris, France, on November 22, 2015 (Charles Platiau/Reuters).

Coauthored with Naomi Egel, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Next week’s Paris meeting on climate change—officially, the twenty-first Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)—is shaping up to be a watershed moment in the fight against global warming. Unlike the disappointing 2009 conference in Copenhagen, the Paris summit is expected to produce a strong global agreement that charts the next steps in combatting climate change. Read more »

Après Paris: Reverberations of the Terrorist Attacks

by Stewart M. Patrick
In a French poster popularized during World War I, a French soldier carries a gun and encourages his countrymen under the phrase "On les aura!" or "We will have them!" In a French poster popularized during World War I, a French soldier carries a gun and encourages his countrymen under the phrase "On les aura!" or "We will have them!" (Abel Faivre/Library of Congress).

Following Friday’s horrific assault on Paris—the world’s most vibrant monument to the open society—there is a welcome global determination to crush the Islamic State. There can be no negotiation with this apocalyptic movement. The international response against the perpetrators must be, in the words of French President François Hollande, “pitiless.” Achieving this aim will require a broad coalition, including not only NATO allies but also strange bedfellows like Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. There will be necessary debates, of course—about whether to introduce Western (including U.S.) ground forces in Syria and Iraq, about whether to treat the Assad regime as an enemy, bystander, or partner in this effort, and about how the West can escalate its involvement without sparking the global religious war that ISIS desires. An effective response will require the Obama administration to be out in front: there must be no leading from behind in this effort. Read more »

Oceans and Climate Change: A Bleak Outlook

by Stewart M. Patrick and Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
Waves crash against stairs to Broad Beach in Malibu, California, United States. Waves crash against stairs to Broad Beach in Malibu, California, United States (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters).

Coauthored with Naomi Egel, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

As the Paris climate meeting rapidly approaches, the preparatory discussions have been remarkably silent on the crucial links between global warming and the health of the world’s oceans. This is a missed opportunity to galvanize global political will behind significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Read more »

Raising the Profile of Climate-Smart Agriculture

by Guest Blogger for Stewart M. Patrick
A woman picks vegetables from her garden as her daughter looks on in a village east of Maseru, Lesotho, on February 27, 2015. A woman picks vegetables from her garden as her daughter looks on in a village east of Maseru, Lesotho, on February 27, 2015 (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters).

The following is a guest post by Caroline Andridge, research associate for global health, economics, and development at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Controversial President Robert Mugabe isn’t the only unpredictable force citizens of Zimbabwe face. Over 1.5 million additional people in Zimbabwe (above the 4.8 million undernourished citizens in 2013) will go hungry this year because extreme weather and poor farming methods halved maize production. This is just one sad example of climate change’s growing impact on human health. Read more »

Turning the Tide on Global Ocean Acidification

by Stewart M. Patrick
A scuba diver swims near a school of swirling jacks off the coast of Bali, Indonesia, in May 2011. A scuba diver swims near a school of swirling jacks off the coast of Bali, Indonesia, in May 2011 (David Loh/Reuters).

Last night I had the honor to participate in a great New York event—the announcement of the winners of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPrize, presented by Foreign Affairs LIVE. Two years ago, the XPrize Foundation announced that they would offer $2 million to any private team that could do something many had considered impossible: create a device to reliably measure the acidity of the deep ocean, while surviving pressures equivalent to hundreds of atmospheres. The big winner was Sunburst Sensors, a tiny company  based in Missoula, Montana, which came in first place for both accuracy and affordability. Read more »

The Vatican Takes on Climate Change: Making Sense of the Pope’s Encyclical

by Stewart M. Patrick
Pope Francis waves to a crowd on St. Peter's Square in Vatican City on June 13, 2015. Pope Francis waves to a crowd on St. Peter's Square in Vatican City on June 13, 2015 (Giampiero Sposito/Reuters).

Pope Francis’s new encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Si” (“Praise Be to You”), is a profoundly important document. It has the potential to shake up the stalled climate change debate in the United States, not least by broadening the definition of what it means to be a “conservative.” Read more »

The G7 Summit: An Exclusive Club—But a Global Role

by Stewart M. Patrick
A view of the Bavarian retreat of Schloss Elmau, where leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries will gather for their annual summit on June 7–8, 2015. A view of the Bavarian retreat of Schloss Elmau, where leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries will gather for their annual summit on June 7–8, 2015 (Michaela Rehle/Reuters).

When President Obama and his fellow Group of Seven (G7) leaders convene this weekend at the Bavarian retreat of Schloss Elmau, they will face two tasks. The most obvious is to formulate common positions on a global agenda so sweeping that it will strain even the lengthiest communiqué. Their more subtle challenge is to signal that their advanced market democracies remain not only an anchor of order in a turbulent world but also a potential engine to drive global governance reform. Read more »

Earth Gets Its Day: When Will It Get Its Due?

by Stewart M. Patrick
A photo of Earth—dubbed "Earthrise"—taken by U.S. astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission in December 1968. A photo of Earth—dubbed "Earthrise"—taken by U.S. astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 mission in December 1968 (William Anders/Courtesy NASA).

Earth Day 2015 finds the planet in dire straits. Future generations will mock the inanity of designating a single day each year to honor the Earth while despoiling the planet on which human well-being depended.

The World Bank warns that temperatures will almost certainly rise by 1.5 degrees Celsius by midcentury. The consequences will be dramatic and likely devastating. Glaciers will disappear,ice sheets will melt, sea levels will rise, oceans will acidify, coral reefs will die, fish stocks will collapse, droughts will intensify, storms will strengthen. Global averages, moreover, will conceal dramatic local swings in temperature. Under current climate scenarios, global warming will make many current population centers uninhabitable, causing mass migrations. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ office, even by the most conservative predictions, extreme weather will displace up to 250 million people by midcentury. Read more »