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date: 07 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Despite nearly two decades of international climate negotiations and near universal participation by states in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 1992, there has been no concerted or effective collective state response to the threat of global warming. This article provides a critical overview of research on comparative state responses to the challenge of climate change. It begins by considering some of the methodological challenges involved in assessing relative performance, focusing on the politics of measuring and judging, and then presents key data that enable comparison between the twenty states that are collectively responsible for some 85% of total global emissions. Furthermore, the article provides a critical stocktaking of the existing literature on comparative state climate performance and concludes with some broad insights on what makes a climate leader or a climate laggard.

Keywords: states response, methodological challenges, state climate performance, climate leader, Convention on Climate Change

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