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BC Expert: Climate Conference

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David Deese

David Deese
Professor of Political Science
Boston College
cell: 603-562-0971

Professor Deese researches the international and comparative politics of climate change, and specifically the best and worst practices by countries (climate "winners" and "losers") to date in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.
He also researches the leadership of international bargaining and negotiations; political economic reform in developing, resource based states and the Middle East region in particular; and the interaction of economics and security in US foreign policy. In January 2013, he was appointed to the United States Fulbright Program national roster of Fulbright Specialists. He is the author of several books and publications including, The Handbook of the International Political Economy of Trade; Globalization: Causes and Effects; The New Politics of American Foreign Policy and World Trade Politics: Power, Principles, and Leadership.


Nearly 200 countries are gathering in Peru to lay out what might be a blueprint for landmark climate change legislation. While the talks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima are expected to focus on drafting a new agreement that will be adopted in Paris next year, it may also serve as a litmus test for the direction the world is heading toward on climate change.

“This is, by far, going to be the most important indicator on the prospects for getting an agreement next year in part because the U.S.-China agreement is so recent and it was dramatically announced,” says Boston College Political Science Professor David Deese, Ph.D., who researches the international and comparative politics of climate change. “So now you have the two most important emitting countries agreeing on specific limits in an important time frame.”

Just weeks ago, the U.S. and China -- which together produce almost as much carbon dioxide as the rest of the world combined -- agreed on a deal to limit the production of greenhouse gases over the next 10 to 15 years.

“If the other major largest greenhouse gas emitting countries don’t follow up on the U.S.-Chinese agreement,” says Deese, who examines the best and worst practices by countries in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, “then that will be a very bad sign for where the process is heading in terms of a final agreement next year to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and have limits kick in for all countries, not just the major developed countries.”

Coupled with the U.S.-China deal is the European Union’s offer of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases, which may only ratchet up expectations for countries attending this week’s conference.

“The combination of the EU, U.S., and China all in agreement about major cuts puts a lot of pressure on the two dozen major emitting countries,” says Deese.



 Media Note: Contact information for additional Boston College faculty sources on a range of subjects is available at: /offices/pubaf/journalist/experts.html


Sean Hennessey
Associate Director
Office of News and Public Affairs
Boston College

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