IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Development of an International Agenda for Climate Change: Connecting Science to Policy

Listed author(s):
  • W.E. Franz
Registered author(s):

    The observation has been made that the climate change issue broke onto the international policy making agenda in the mid 1980s, between 1985 and 1988. The issue moved from the realm of science to the realm of politics. As such, this period provides fertile ground for exploration of the relationship between science, knowledge, and action on international environmental issues. This relationship is the emphasis of this study, as it provides an account of the transition of climate change to the international policy agenda. This study explores the often made claim that it was the development of a scientific consensus, a reframing of the climate debate, and attention from an international group of scientists that pushed the issue into the international political spotlight by the late 1980s. The Villach 1985 conference is often cited as the source for these claims. This study contends that the 1985 Villach conference did not represent a significant change in scientific conclusions about the problems of climate change. Rather, a new emphasis on certain scientific facts, the unique quality of the international group of scientists, and new perceptions of the opportunity for action on international environmental problems led the Villach group to reach a new set of political and policy conclusions which emphasized the urgency of action. Several policy and science entrepreneurs advocated action to address problems of global environmental change. Their conclusions coincided with a number of other developments, including extreme weather in the United States and the successful negotiation of an international agreement to protect the ozone layer, which pressed in the direction of further international attention to environmental problems. By 1988, a variety of international players were involved in shaping the debate about responses to climate change.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in its series Working Papers with number ir97034.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Sep 1997
    Handle: RePEc:wop:iasawp:ir97034
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    A-2361 Laxenburg

    Phone: +43-2236-807-0
    Fax: +43-2236-71313
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:iasawp:ir97034. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.