Africa in the global climate change negotiations
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The African Group of Negotiators (AGN) has become a much more significant bargaining coalition in the global climate change negotiations. It has been participating more proactively and on a much more significant scale, and, as a result, it has had a greater impact on bargaining outcomes, notably in Nairobi, Copenhagen and Durban. Yet, at present, the group remains poorly understood by both scholars and policymakers. Compared to other groups in the climate negotiations, such as the Group of 77 and Alliance of Small Island States, it has received relatively little attention. This paper fills this gap by tracking the evolution of the AGN over the course of the climate change negotiations. In the early years after the Earth Summit, it shows that the AGN faced tremendous difficulties pursing regional objectives effectively, largely due to a number of “internal” barriers to participation, which compounded the structural barriers that the continent faced by making it difficult to use “low-power” negotiating strategies such as coalition building, agenda-setting and persuasion. However, in recent years, the group has become much more proactive as a result of greater access to material, ideational and institutional resources. These have relieved, somewhat, the internal barriers that the group faced, making it possible for the AGN to negotiate much more confidently and effectively than before.
KeywordsAfrican Group Climate change Negotiations UNFCCC Bargaining groups
The authors would like to acknowledge and thank the Africa Initiative at The Centre for International Governance Innovation (Waterloo, Canada), which provided funding for Charles’s research, as well as review and editing of this paper. Peter Dauvergne, Joyeeta Gupta, Thomas Hale, Stephan Hoch and Lesley Masters, as well as the anonymous peer reviewers, offered thoughtful comments on earlier drafts. Finally, outstanding research assistance was provided by Andrea Stucchi, Kieran Meehan, Gezahegne Seyoum, Tolosa Belete and Titayal Tebeje.
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