Climate justice and bargaining coalitions: a discourse analysis
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.
KeywordsClimate justice Climate negotiations Bargaining coalitions COP16 Discourse analysis North–South conflict
Latin America Bolivarian Alternative
Alliance of Small Island States
Brazil, South Africa, India and China
Conference of the Parties
Environmental Integrity Group
Group of 77 Developing Countries
General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs
International Energy Agency
Informal Group of Latino American Countries
Least Developed Countries
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
Pan African Climate Justice Alliance
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
World Trade Organization
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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