Geopolitical democracy may not have been successfully practiced until recently, but now it’s here, as signified by the Paris Agreement and a dramatic increase in political representation of climate issues. Not long ago these goals would have seemed like fantasy to activists.
The fight may be far from over, but the momentum of the worldwide movement of climate change prevention is unstoppable. Even taking the most pessimistic view that world leaders are corrupt or will always fail to agree to ambitious pledges without compromise, there will be no restricting the push for net-zero.
This is for a few reasons. Firstly- there’s the widespread impact of climate change. Nations across the globe are seeing the effect first hand in sporadic natural disasters, air pollution, or species extinction. They will see it as a necessity to negotiate, if not to save the world, then themselves. This is also the case if they think the economy is king because the impact on capital has proven to be equal to the damage to the natural world.
Next, because strong diplomatic relations are more necessary now than ever. In terms of maintaining trade deals, both rich and poor countries will be dependent on satisfying green standards. For a nation like America, it will only take the passing of the Green New Deal to create a chain effect with international implications. Non-complying nations could see themselves cut off. Those willing to negotiate will benefit from foreign aid. It’s hard to imagine the Philippines will be undone because of its loud-mouthed President when considering their previous efforts toward the Paris Agreement and consistent pressuring of big and wealthy nations to think sustainably.
But even if net-zero fails to come to fruition in time, it will be hard to see it as the fault of negotiations. After all, the leaders participating in these talks have, by and large, been elected democratically. As long as you believe that these democracies are functioning, then you can’t blame the leaders for failing to take appropriate measures, which the populations themselves would be unwilling to embrace. Still, if recent grassroots outpour has proven anything, is that communities, even those without sufficient education are recognising these issues and willing to fight.