ABSTRACTEver since the beginning of international climate conservation politics there has been variation across nations in political traditions in debating the climate issue. Political decision-makers have interpreted the scientific findings on global warming with different emphases, thereby giving rise to variation in views on preferred national or international solutions. These tensions first became evident before and during the Earth Summit of the United Nations in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, when the United Nations Climate Change Convention was prepared and eventually signed. This article discusses the historical background of international climate conservation politics and illustrates the tensions between contrasting parliamentary traditions in conceptualizing the climate issue. It analyses concepts and arguments presented in the German and British parliaments, which debated the necessity and justifications for international and national climate politics and the form these should take. Empirical analysis of the parliamentary debates of the period shows that during this phase in the early 1990s of introducing and initiating climate conservation policies parliamentarians debated the limits and prospects of national, international and supranational decision-making. The German and British parliaments have traditionally articulated different ideas on international and European co-operation and this difference is also apparent in the field of climate conservation policies.

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