In the late 2000s, the political discourse on climate policy became increasingly polarized.  The political right has largely opposed drastic climate policy, while the political left has advocated progressive measures to combat environmental anomalies.  In a 2016 study, Dunlap, McCright and Yarosh found „the escalation of environmental polarization and climate change“  in the United States. In 2020, the partisan gap in public opinion on the importance of climate change policy was the largest in history.  The Pew Research Center found that in 2020, 78 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of U.S. Republicans viewed climate policy as the top priority of the president and Congress.  Domestic climate change policy has focused both on the definition of domestic measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and on the integration of international guidelines into national law. In the second half of the twentieth century, environmental issues entered the international and intergovernmental arena for the first time. However, climate change was only a footnote to the Stockholm conference. At the beginning of the 21st century, policy approaches shifted from mitigation to reducing the environmental impact of human behaviours to adaptation.  Adaptation-based policy focuses on adapting environmental and human systems to meet the predicted effects of global warming.  According to Klein, Schipper and Dessai, adaptation is necessary to account for permanent changes in the human environment that cannot be reversed independently of mitigation testing.
 Haibach and Schneider propose that climate policy should continue to move towards „crisis management and prevention plans“.  Ford also explains that the UNFCCC has evolved to address „exposure to the predicted effects of climate change“ by emphasizing the need to adapt.  Ahead of COP13 in Bali, Indonesia, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is releasing a new report with the strongest language, but which confirms that global warming is „most likely“ caused by human activity. Discussions on a stronger successor to the Kyoto Protocol will begin during the conference. But they come to a halt after the United States opposed a widely supported proposal that calls on all industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through certain targets. U.S. officials say developing countries must also make commitments. A delegate from Papua New Guinea calls on the United States to „avoid“ if it does not want to lead the international response to climate change. Washington finally relented and the parties adopted the Bali Action Plan, which set the goal of drawing up a new climate agreement by 2009. By creating multilateral treaties, agreements and frameworks, international climate change policy aims to provide a global response to the effects of global warming and environmental anomalies.
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