What Is Climate Diplomacy?

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Climate change is an ever-increasing problem that threatens the world. However, no country can solve the climate crisis alone. The State Department and its diplomats work with other countries to address this global issue through climate diplomacy.

In this video, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry makes the case for tackling climate change with the help of other countries.

Discussion Questions

Use the following discussion questions to guide your classroom conversations about this video. Refer to the timestamps to find the answers to these questions.

  1. What is climate change?
  2. Why is reducing emissions important, and what are the challenges with reducing emissions?
  3. What are some challenges and assets other countries bring to climate negotiations?
  4. Who are the top emitters of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, and how are they involved in addressing climate change?
  5. Why is it important the United States takes the lead on issues regarding climate change? How is that leadership shown or demonstrated?
  6. Explain your thinking about this quote from the video, ”We are all in this together. No one country can solve the problem of the climate crisis. So we have to work to get every other nation onboard.” What obstacles are in the way of getting other countries to invest in climate?
  7. Identify some current ways that the United States is addressing climate change. How are other countries addressing climate change?
  8. What is one thing you learned from the video that you found interesting, surprising, or confusing?
  9. What is one question you would ask the speaker in this video?
  10. Summarize what you learned about climate change and its relationship to diplomacy.

Video Vocabulary

The following terms are referenced in this video.

  • Climate – The expected or average weather conditions in an area of the planet.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – A nation’s economic wealth measured by the value of all finished goods and services it produces.
  • Emissions – Substances released into the air.
  • Wind farm – A collection of large windmills that drive electrical generators.
  • Pledge – A promise or agreement to do something.
  • Budget – The amount of money that is available, required, or assigned to a particular purpose.
  • Protagonist – A leader, proponent, or supporter of a cause.
  • Fossil fuel – Fuel formed from millions of years old plant or animal remains, such as coal, oil, and natural gas.
  • Chauvinism – Favoritism for a group you belong to.
  • Existential – Relating to or dealing with existence.

AP and IB Course Connections

Use this video in your Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes. Below are prompts for each course.

AP Comparative Government

Suggested Course Units: Unit 1: Political Systems, Regimes, and Governments; Unit 2: Political Institutions; Unit 5: Political and Economic Changes and Development

Question Type: Comparative Analysis

Prompt: Compare the climate change policy of two different AP Comparative Government and Politics course countries. In your response, you should do the following.

(A) Define climate change.
(B) Explain how the climate change policy used by two different AP Comparative Government and Politics course countries impacts their nations’ economies.
(C) Explain why each of the two AP Comparative Government and Politics course countries described in (B) would choose to approach climate change differently.

IB Global Politics

Paper Type: Stimulus-based paper on a topic from one of the four core units.

Prompt: “No one country can solve the problem of the climate crisis.” Discuss this claim using the video and your own knowledge.