Date: 18 Oct 2012

Climate justice and bargaining coalitions: a discourse analysis

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Abstract

This article adopts a perspective of climate justice as an object of discourse and takes the bargaining coalitions at the Conference of the Parties as the relevant units to map the heterogeneous discourse on climate justice at the Cancun COP16. Based on the statements of nine coalitions, the analysis identifies three discourses on climate justice. The conflict discourse articulates the North–South duality over issues of historical responsibility for climate change. The transition discourse points to solving the problem of sharing the cost of mitigating climate change through a process of global low-carbon growth. The vulnerability discourse focuses on the urgency of ambitious actions by all parties. These three discourses, and their appropriation by the bargaining coalitions, are inherent of new alignments among developed and developing countries alliances and blocs that simultaneously reproduce and surpass the North–South ideological divide.