Developing Country Responsibility for Mitigation

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: In the contemporary or so-called “post-2012” period of climate governance, the question of what a new future climate agreement might entail has arisen in conjunction with the initiation of negotiations on the Durban Platform on Enhanced Action in the climate regime. In parallel to this, larger states, industrial countries as well as developing countries are now dominating the UNFCCC process, seeking other ways of realizing their national climate policy, and pursuing negotiations on other governance arrangements. A key issue in this changing situation is how the responsibility for mitigation among developing countries is perceived. Do developing country conceptualizations of responsibility correspond to how this important issue is conceptualized within contemporary theories of climate governance? By performing an ideal type analysis, the conception of this responsibility within a select group of climate governance theories was elucidated and compared with how the question of responsibility was expressed in a number of important policy documents formulated by major developing countries in connection to the negotiations within the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action. The investigation concluded that a) there is a subtle correspondence between Neoliberal-Institutionalists and Developing Countries in regards to the role of the state as the basis of responsibility, b) there is a subtle correspondence between Green Critical International Political Economy perspectives and Neoliberal-Institutionalists in regard to the importance of restructuring the UNFCCC, and lastly c) that the question of developing country responsibility in the climate regime reveals that climate governance is inseparable from climate politics.

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