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Climate justice and bargaining coalitions: a discourse analysis

  • René Audet
Original Paper

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.

Keywords

Climate justice Climate negotiations Bargaining coalitions COP16 Discourse analysis North–South conflict 

Abbreviations

ALBA

Latin America Bolivarian Alternative

AOSIS

Alliance of Small Island States

BASIC

Brazil, South Africa, India and China

CO2

Carbon dioxide

COP

Conference of the Parties

EIG

Environmental Integrity Group

EU

European Union

G77

Group of 77 Developing Countries

GATT

General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs

IEA

International Energy Agency

IGLAC

Informal Group of Latino American Countries

LDC

Least Developed Countries

OECD

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

OPEC

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries

PACJA

Pan African Climate Justice Alliance

UN

United Nations

UNFCCC

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

US

United States

WTO

World Trade Organization

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author would like to acknowledge the support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, postdoctoral fellowship programme. He would also like to thank Catherine Potvin, Anne Rosenthal and the organisers of the May 2011 conference Revisiting the Socio-Political and Technological Dimensions of Climate Change, from the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Département stratégie, responsabilité sociale et environnementale, École des sciences de la gestionUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada

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