Climate Change a Collective Good Problem to All Climate change is the exemplary global public…

Climate Change a Collective Good Problem to All

Climate change is the exemplary global public good, because each country’s emissions of greenhouse gasses contribute cumulatively to the increase of the overall concentration, and each country’s abatements entail higher cost than benefits, unless effective concerted collective action take place (Grasso, 2004). To this date, climate change is expected to affect every country in the world, but its impact will not be felt equally across all regions and some will be worse hit than others because of a range of different threats (Law, 2019).

depicts damage roads due to the flooding in Kirbati. Tarawa’s single paved road has collapsed because of the flooding from the sea. The people of Kirbati are under pressure to relocate due to the sea level rise. Each year, the sea level rises by about half an inch. Though this may not sound like much, but it is a big deal considering the inslands are only a few feet away above sea level, which puts them at risk of flooding and sea swells.

s the six places affected most by the climate change as reported by Law (2019) in an online Time Magazine.

Climate risk is a concept that reflects countries vulnerability to the direct consequences – deaths and economic losses – of extreme weather events and is measured annually by the Germanwatch observatory via the Global Climate Risk Index (Iberdola, 2021).

Table 1: Climate Risk Index


Climate Risk Index











Sri Lanka










Source: Iberdola (2021)

Some key facts stated by WHO (2021) are:

Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.

Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

The direct damage costs to health (i.e. excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between USD 2-4 billion/year by 2030.

Areas with weak health infrastructure – mostly in developing countries – will be the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond.

Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transport, food and energy-use choices can result in improved health, particularly through reduced air pollution.

NASA (2021) stated that the effects of human-caused global warming are happening now, are irreversible on the timescale of people alive today, and will worsen in the decades to come. Some of the issues and future effects highlighted by NASA are change will continue through this century and beyond, temperatures will continue to rise, frost-free season will lengthen, changes in precipitation patterns, more droughts and heat waves, hurricanes will become stronger and more intense, and sea level will rise 1-8 feet by 2100 with artic likely to become ice-free.

For further readings:

Law, T. (2019). The Climate Crisis is Global, but These 6 Places Face the Most Severe Consequences.

Iderbola, 2021. Which countries are most threatened by and vulnerable to climate change?

World Health Organization (2021). Climate change and health.

NASA (2021). Global Climate Change, Vital Signs of the Planet: The Effects of Climate Change.

Based on the situation described above, answer the following questions:


Explain how this is a collective goods problem and discuss which principle of international relations – dominance, identity, or reciprocity – can be applied to solve this problem.

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