A Research Agenda for Climate Justice
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A Research Agenda for Climate Justice

Edited by Paul G. Harris

Climate change will bring great suffering to communities, individuals and ecosystems. Those least responsible for the problem will suffer the most. Justice demands urgent action to reverse its causes and impacts. In this provocative new book, Paul G. Harris brings together a collection of original essays to explore alternative, innovative approaches to understanding and implementing climate justice in the future. Through investigations informed by philosophy, politics, sociology, law and economics, this Research Agenda reveals how climate change is a matter of justice and makes concrete proposals for more effective mitigation.
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Chapter 12: Climate justice after the Paris Agreement: understanding equity through nationally determined contributions

Claire Swingle


To better understand how Parties to the Paris Agreement on climate change conceptualize climate justice, this chapter analyses the ‘Fairness and Ambition’ sections within 163 Nationally Determined Contributions submitted to the secretariat of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Each Party’s indicators of equity are compared against the traditional positions of their respective negotiating groups and against more recent submissions to the UNFCCC under the Talanoa Dialogue. This comparison reveals that historical responsibility is underemphasized and decoupled from common but differentiated responsibility. Instead, temperature goals and references to scientific reports are increasingly used to build calls for enhanced ambition and international support. How Parties conceptualize equity will affect how they judge global mitigation action and shape their subsequent goals. This will be crucial to limiting global warming and climate change.

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