If you look at possible outcomes of climate change, impacts at local, national and global scales become clear to see. For example:
So how are decisions made when actions and impacts happen at a range of scales? Who makes those decisions? The answer may be that decisions and actions need to happen at all levels, and that each level influences the others.
This diagram tries to show some of the people and organisations who are involved in making decisions at local, national and global scales. You can probably see that decisions made at the local level can influence those made at a national and global level. For example, the way people vote in elections will affect what decisions are made. In the same way, decisions made at the international level [eg. targets for carbon emission reductions] will influence lives at the national and local levels.
You could put yourself in the middle of this diagram, or a young person from India, for example.
At each of these levels, getting agreement is a challenge. Each circle suggests questions which might help you think about and discuss issues of decision making with friends:
National governments and international organisations have been trying to find agreement on ways to reduce the impacts of global climate change for many years. The Kyoto Protocol was proposed in 1992 and adopted in 1997. World leaders will be meeting again in Copenhagen at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2009. They too are trying to get agreement.
The Kyoto and Copenhagen talks