ASSESSMENT TASK: INDIVIDUAL ESSAY. (1,500 words)
Essays must be uploaded on Turnitin (on our VUWS site). It is important that you also keep a COPY of your essay as a record.
VERY IMPORTANT: Essays must be FULLY formally referenced (please see the relevant section in the Learning Guide). We are obliged to report any plagiarism as academic misconduct.
A very good guide to structuring and writing an essay has been uploaded under the “Essay” link in the “Assessments” section on VUWS. Make sure you read it. Please refer ALSO to the marking criteria and GENERAL Guidelines for writing essays in the Assessment section of the Learning Guide.
Further, for this specific question you should consider the requirements and suggestions below;
ESSAY QUESTION ONE : Essay Globalization And Sustainability
“Critically compare and contrast the 1997 Kyoto Protocol with the 2016 Paris Agreement. What do these treaties respectively indicate about attempts to address climate change using the market based framework recommended by orthodox (or neoclassical) economists?”
PLEASE NOTE: The United States about 2 months ago withdrew from the Paris Agreement. Please keep this in mind when reading the academic literature =it takes over one year to publish an academically refereed paper once it has been submitted. So the academic published academic literature cannot address this latest development. However you may draw on other sources here.
1) Make sure that you write a thesis statement (one or two sentences telling me what you are going to argue. This statement should be part of the introduction in your opening paragraph.
2) Demonstrate knowledge of the content of each agreement, the context in which they were adopted and the similarities and differences between them. A link to a basic explanation of BOTH agreements: Just click on Kyoto and then Paris on the left hand side of this United Nations Webpage.
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3) In your answer you must also briefly outline the basic policies and mechanisms involved in proposed market-based solutions to climate change. To what extent and how are these different agreements influenced by such economic theories. (Hint: carbon taxes, credit trading, carbon offsets and the Clean Development Mechanism are all facets of market based solutions to climate change.)
4) In analysing the content of the agreements refer to at least TWO key concepts or theories
discussed in Weeks 1-5 and Week 7 of the unit. (For example, externalities, carbon lock in,
the free rider effect, corporate power, additionality, the IPAT framework, limits to growth,
biodiversity, the tragedy of the commons – there are others I have not listed.) Weeks 3 and
4 are especially relevant but you may find concepts introduced in other weeks to be more
interesting or also relevant.
5) In light of points 2) and 3) above determine whether Kyoto was successful and whether Paris is likely to be successful and WHY or WHY NOT? Here also you may wish to compare the two. If you think BOTH are unsatisfactory explain why and if you like, outline a better policy solution.
6) You would be well advised to use some of the academic readings uploaded on VUWS to research your answer. The ones you find most relevant will depend on your approach to answering the question.
7) Do not quote at length in a short essay like this. Save your precious word limit for making your argument and for proving the points made at each stage of your argument. Also avoid description as far as possible. You are arguing a case, not describing a series of events or the content of agreements and theories. You need to use that content of policy and theories in order to back up your arguments – however keep description of this content to a minimum.
8) You MUST also refer to at least 4 or 5 additional refereed scholarly readings (that you have found yourself) in framing your answer. If you are not sure whether a reading is scholarly – screen your library search results by clicking on “Scholarly” or “Peer Reviewed” or “refereed” articles only. If you use newspapers (such as the Guardian or the Sydney Morning Herald) these do NOT count as scholarly readings! You can quote a policy or politician in your essay – but DO NOT present what they’ve said as though it were a scholarly opinion.
For example, appreciate the difference between these two statements;
a) “The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol because he said it would make Australia economically worse off.” (PM quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald, date, 1997)
b) “The Kyoto Agreement, if signed, would have disadvantaged Australians” (Reference: John Howard, The Sydney Morning Herald, Date 1997)
CAN YOU APPRECIATE WHY STATEMENT A) IS ACCEPTABLE IN THE PROCESS OF
ILLUSTRATING AN ARGUMENT ABOUT THE POLITICAL PROCESS SURROUNDING
EMISSIONS AGREEMENTS AND STATEMENT B) IS ABSOLUTELY NOT ACCEPTABLE?