Ideas of justice in climate change negotiations

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: With the Kyoto Protocol in effect and well into its implementation period, the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are now in the midst of negotiating an agreement to govern the global policy on climate change in the post-Kyoto period. Recognizing the difficulties of the Parties to agree on the commitments laid out in the Kyoto Protocol and acknowledging in particular the aspects of justice related to the responsibility for the origin as well as the mitigation of global warming, this thesis investigates the ideas of justice prevailing in the negotiations of climate change. Using a two-step methodology of concept analysis and analysis of ideas, a conceptual map is first created, built on the constitutive dimensions of justice as drawn from political philosophy. Using the results therein as theoretical framework, analysis of ideas is then applied to the high-level statements at the preparatory 14th Conference of Parties (COP 14) in Poznan held in December 2008. With the conceptual map as reference, two main positions are identified embodied by the perceived conceptions of developed and developing countries respectively, separated primarily in the dimensions of principle and reach. These positions are to be considered as stylized however, and should be viewed in conjunction with the underlying dimensional description.

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