Edited by Karin Bäckstrand and Eva Lövbrand
Chapter 12: Minilateralism
AbstractThe past decade has seen the formation of a number of prominent minilateral climate change forums directed at mitigation. This chapter asks whether these minilateral forums are simply a pragmatic response to a lack of progress within the UN climate process or an expression of wider contestation over equity principles relating to emission reduction commitments of developed and developing countries. Adopting constructivist theory, this chapter finds minilateral forums have provided sites for key developed countries to contest equity principles of the UN climate regime, such as common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), which are in tension with the currently dominant norms of neoliberal environmental governance. Minilateral forums have therefore been used as part of a strategy by some key developed countries to weaken mitigation commitments in global climate change governance and impede strong implementation of the CBDR principle. This recent history needs to be borne in mind when critically reflecting on the rise in support for minilateral climate forums and also raises significant concerns about future global climate governance if emission reduction and justice are to be taken seriously.
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