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Author: Katrin Buchmann
Buchmann analyses the work of UK, German, Danish and Swedish embassies in the USA and China on climate change in the late 2000s and early 2010s. She relates which coalitions and narratives embassies sought to develop to convince China and the United States that a more progressive climate policy was possible, to achieve gains supporting an agreement under the UNFCCC. This book shows that a key interpretation of climate diplomacy was selling/trade: Europe selling technology “solutions” to solve climate change. In this narrative, Europe has already done what needs to be done and outsourcing of production to China e.g. is ignored. In the USA, embassies entered coalitions with states, faith groups and the military, arguing that a more progressive climate policy was mandated by either God or security concerns. State politicians, including Democrats, often actually didn’t implement any climate policies. Any gains were reversed through climate denial lobbying funded by corporations. Embassies did not address this.
By examining the great economic and political transformations of our time, Juan Luis Manfredi-Sánchez reveals how cities and their hinterlands have become part of globalisation. The global city has joined the group of actors who develop diplomatic, political and communicative action in a manner that is de facto and lawful. Thus, the city is involved in the formulation of foreign policy at the same time that it proposes its own political agenda, which may or may not be aligned with its own country. The city thereby becomes a source of innovation in the field of diplomacy. The Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating the political and diplomatic role of cities, which have become epicentres of prevention and response in the face of this public health crisis.