Best Drupal HostingBest Joomla HostingBest Wordpress Hosting

World Policy Journal is proud to share our weekly podcast, World Policy On Air, featuring former Newsweek On Air host David Alpern. Click here to subscribe on iTunes!



Review: Twelve by Twelve by William Powers

William Powers: In the Thick of It

COPENHAGEN—Under the vaulting sloped-glass roof of Copenhagen's Bella Center, the excitement is palpable. I'm here for the two-week long "COP 15," or the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention on Climate Change. The world’s environment ministers have arrived in advance of the historic gathering of 110 heads of state coming next week. It's been a rollercoaster ride so far. On Friday, spirits lifted after much uncertainty that any sort of deal could be struck, when a draft agreement that seemed to have some consensus finally circulated. It said that—using 1990 levels as a baseline—all countries together should reduce emissions from 50 to 95 percent by 2050, with rich countries cutting emissions from 25 to 40 percent by 2020. But then at a ministerial meeting on Sunday, the United States dropped a bomb: it couldn't commit to a legally binding target for emissions reductions because Congress hasn’t approved the proposal. Not surprisingly, Canada and other rich nations followed suit, saying essentially, "well, then we won’t either." "When that happened, the whole dialogue broke down," said Papua New Guinea Minister Kevin Conrad, who was present. In rebuff, lesser-developed countries basically told the rich world to "sort out your problems internally and then you come back and talk to us about the things we can do." Then they walked out, stopping negotiations for most of today. By Monday, the conference chair, Danish Minister Connie Hedegaard, had managed to overcome the deadlock through some quick diplomacy. But the peace is fragile, and there’s an increasingly pessimistic sense among a number of country delegates and representatives from non-governmental organizations about the possibility of any significant deal being struck here. The pessimism is understandable, given the vast differences in perspectives. For example, last week Washington scoffed at the idea that there exists a "climate debt" that industrialized countries owe to the world (an idea based on the inconvenient fact that wealthy nations have caused the vast majority of the current problem). But in a developing world press conference I just attended, cries were made for "twenty-four trillion dollars in reparations for climate change damages, as well as a radical reduction of emissions in the North." Meanwhile, 1,200 protesters were taken into police custody over the weekend. Some of them held up signs that read, "Blah, Blah, Blah. Take Action!" referring to the perception that nothing of substance had come of last week's negotiations. Against this backdrop, the world's leaders will soon arrive to try and hammer out the contentious bargaining issues like financing and exactly how deeply to cut emissions. It's only going to get more interesting.

Jonathan Power: The Exaggeration of the Climate Debate

Read more



Around WPI

Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa 

This paper, “Jihad in Sub-Saharan Africa: Challenging the Narratives of the War on Terror,” examines the history of Islamic movements in Africa's Sahel region to contextualize current conflicts.

World Economic Roundtable with Vicente Fox 

In this World Economic Roundtable, former Mexican President Vicente Fox discusses his current quest to make his country a hub for technology. 

Intern at World Policy

Want to join our team? Looking for an experience at one of the most highly sought-after internships for ambitious students? Application details here.


Al Gore presides over Arctic Roundtable 

As the United States prepares to assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, this inaugural convening of the Arctic Deeply Roundtables launches a vital conversation for our times. 


When the Senate Worked for Us:
New book offers untold stories of how activist staffers countered corporate lobbies in the U.S.

MA in International Policy and Development
Middlebury Institute (Monterey, CA): Put theory into practice through client-based coursework. Apply by Feb. 1.

Millennium Project’s State of the Future 19.0: Collective Intelligence on the Future of the World


To learn about the latest in media, programming, and fellowship, subscribe to the World Policy Weekly Newsletter and read through our archives.

World Policy on Facebook