Exclusive Minilateralism: An Emerging Discourse within International Climate Change Governance?
Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, Vol. 8, No. 3, September 2011
29 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2013
Date Written: 2011
This paper explores an important recent development in the process of international climate change governance. That development is the formation of a number of selective state-based forums for dialogue and/or decision-making on climate change outside the established institutional structure of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). A number of these selective state-based climate forums were instigated by the USA and Australia, the two developed countries under Annex 1 of the UNFCCC that, for the most part of the last decade, remained opposed to the binding emission reduction targets and differentiated emission reduction obligations of the Kyoto Protocol. The Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP), the APEC Sydney Leaders Declaration of 2007 (APEC Sydney Declaration) and the US Major Economies Process (MEP) of 2007-2008 were all instigated and/or heavily supported by the US and Australia. A common thread to these three selective state-based climate change forums is a willingness to allow important decision making on climate change to be devolved to a small group of key state actors, with little or no formal input from environmental or research non-governmental organisations. This paper seeks to analyse this recent development in international climate governance in terms of its compatibility with the democratic governance principles of cosmopolitan and deliberative democratic theory.
Keywords: climate change, UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol, state-based forums, democratic governance
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