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Creating Space for Consensus: High-Level Globe-trotting into the Bali Climate Change Conference

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The international community has been trying to find a comprehensive and effective solution to the problem of anthropogenic climate change for well over two decades. The fundamental problem posed by climate change is that any solution, if it is to be effective, requires collectively agreed upon global initiatives. If enough countries do not take sufficient action, any collective endeavors to mitigate the problem will be less effective or may even fail. As a result, mitigating climate change requires a high level of international cooperation. In the climate change arena, negotiators spent much of 2007 searching for common ground and securing universal participation in a new global regime to take effect when the first commitment period under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012. This article examines one of the strategies used to address this challenge in the lead up to the December 2007 Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia: a variation of track-two diplomacy, where climate change was addressed at numerous workshops and high-level meetings to enable parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to create space for building trust and exploring innovative solutions in determining whether or not to embark on negotiations on a post-2012 regime.

Affiliations: 1: Manhattan College, Manhattan College Parkway Bronx, NY 10471 USA, Email:


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