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Finalist: Alexis Fonjallaz

Alexis Fonjallaz, 17 år, Flekke
Skole: United World College Red Cross Nordic

How do we efficiently reach and implement an international agreement on climate change?


This essay evaluates the application of Philip Kitcher’s theory of Science in a Democratic Society in the reaching and implementation of a sustainable agreement on climate change.

The essay begins by evaluating the cause of the lack of success of prior agreements on climate change in two parts: firstly with regards to the scientific body’s relationship with policy makers and secondly with regards to the political process behind the agreements. In the prior, the essay evaluates two of Philip Kitcher’s reasons for failure in light of the climate negotiations: a) overconfidence among scientists and b) ungrounded claims of expertise. In the latter, the essay considers the political reasons for failure in reaching sustainable agreements.

The third chapter of the essay is a solution-based evaluation of the issues discussed in the second chapter. This chapter focuses on presenting mechanisms for an efficient reaching and implementation of a sustainable climate change agreement. This is, similarly to the prior section, divided into two parts. These are respectively developing mechanisms for the scientific and political processes respectively, with the discussion in the second chapter as a base.

In its conclusion, the strings of the essay are pulled together to conclude on what the ideal model for climate change negotiations ought to look like. It furthermore links this model to the present COP 21 Paris Agreement, concluding that it meets the political aspects of the model but remains flawed with regards to the expert body’s relationship with the policy makers.


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