Singapore's climate change policy underwent an apparently significant shift in 2006, when the country announced that it would accede to the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Singapore had previously rejected the possibility of accession as being incompatible with its interests and outside its international obligations. Since Singapore contributes only a small amount to global greenhouse gas emissions, the consequences of its accession are not great in global terms. However, the reasons behind Singapore's change in policy are worth exploring, as they shed light on the prospects for broadening and strengthening the global climate change regime. If the change in Singapore's policy was the result of rising affluence and being "socialized" into adopting global environmental norms, it would suggest that continued economic growth and global engagement have the potential to strengthen the global regime. In fact, there is no evidence of deep socialization or normative change in Singapore's climate change policy. Rather, Singapore has learnt the language associated with global environmentalism. In concrete terms, Singapore's policy has changed only minimally and the decision to accede to the Kyoto Protocol appears to have been informed by a reassessment of economic costs and benefits.


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pp. 363-384
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