The reality of climate change will require fundamental changes in how international relations are conducted; it will alter much of the focus of international policy and require changes in a wide range of global governance institutions.
It will change strategic interests, alliances, borders, threats, economic relationships, comparative advantages and the nature of international co-operation, and will help determine the continued legitimacy of the UN in the eyes of much of the world. Climate change geo-politics will extend far outside the environmental sphere, and will link old problems in new ways. Managing the complexity of our collective climate security will become an ever more important part of international policy.
This note gives a brief overview of some of the critical implications for global governance and global politics of aiming to limit the risk of catastrophic climate change to relatively low levels; beginning with defining the aim of a climate change regime, the role of the UN climate change agreement and then moving on to other elements of international governance.