A Fragmented Continent

From Politics, Science, and the Environment

A Fragmented Continent

Latin America and the Global Politics of Climate Change

By Guy Edwards and J. Timmons Roberts

Foreword by Ricardo Lagos

How Latin American countries became leading voices and innovators on addressing climate change—and what threatens their leadership.





How Latin American countries became leading voices and innovators on addressing climate change—and what threatens their leadership.

Latin American countries have increased their influence at the United Nations climate change negotiations and offered potential solutions on coping with global warming. But in the face of competing priorities, sometimes these climate policies are jettisoned, undermined, or simply ignored.

A Fragmented Continent focuses on Latin America's three major blocs at the U.N. climate negotiations and how they attempt to balance climate action with building prosperity. Brazil has reduced its deforestation but continues its drive for economic growth and global recognition. A leftist group led by Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador decries the injustice of climate change but is highly dependent on the export of fossil fuels. A new group, including Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru and supported by Mexico, offers sharp reductions in their carbon emissions in return for greater action by others; these countries now have to deliver on their promises. Weaving together issues of politics and economy, trade, foreign policy, civil society, and environmental protection, A Fragmented Continent offers a long-missing perspective on one of this century's greatest challenges and neglected regions.


$55.00 X ISBN: 9780262029803 304 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 1 chart


$30.00 X ISBN: 9780262528115 304 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 1 chart


Ricardo Lagos.


  • Latin America is a rich and complex microcosm of all the challenges and opportunities seen in contemporary global geopolitics. It is a dynamic region with many examples of great leadership, innovation, and creativity on climate change, but also one struggling with the deep challenges presented by the transformation of our growth model. This book offers fascinating insights into these dichotomies while shining pathways to ever greater ambition that can help Latin Americans move forward and truly realize a sustainable, climate-safe century.

    Christiana Figueres

    Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

  • A Fragmented Continent is an essential contribution to understanding the politics of climate change in Latin America. Edwards and Roberts highlight the intersection of global negotiations and divergent domestic realities. Their persuasive analysis is animated by a belief that fostering prosperity and combating climate change are realistic and reinforcing aims.

    Michael Shifter

    President, Inter-American Dialogue

  • A Fragmented Continent is a welcome addition to the literature on Latin America, full of useful analysis in a well-written and accessible style that successfully conveys why the region is important for global climate governance. Latin America has, and will continue to play, a critical role in making the global transition to a low carbon economy.

    Sir David King

    Foreign Secretary's Special Representative for Climate Change, UK Government

  • Focusing on the short-term can lead some to interpret certain decisions as a betrayal to personal principles. But, as this book states, Latin America is faced with multiple climate impacts. So the long-term perspective usually proves that the chosen path was correct. As COP20 President we delivered the means which can strengthen Peru's domestic agenda to tackle climate change and commitment to global action.

    Manuel Pulgar-Vidal

    Minister of Environment of Peru

  • Few issues are as important as climate change and as challenging as finding credible solutions to it in the complex domestic politics of individual countries. In this pathbreaking book, the authors examine the politics of climate change across Latin America and the relationship between political rhetoric and sound policy in each country. The result is a remarkable study which shows both important pathways to credible climate governance and the complex and sometimes contradictory problems they face.

    David Held

    Professor of Politics and International Relations, Durham University