Technology obscuring equity: historical responsibility in UNFCCC negotiations
2008 (English)In: Climate Policy, ISSN 1469-3062, Vol. 8, no 4, 339-354 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
According to the concept of historical responsibility, the commitments of individual countries to take action on climate change are distributed based on the relative effects of their past emissions as manifested in present climate change. Brazil presented a comprehensive version of the concept to pre-Kyoto negotiations in 1997. The ‘Brazilian proposal’ originally combined several justice principles; however, following referral to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, discussion soon became confined to technical calculations. This case illustrates how disparities in knowledge production and framing can influence the inclusiveness of negotiations. Southern participation in the policy process was restrained due to lack of scientific expertise on the part of Southern countries and due to the non-inclusive biophysical discourse traditionally preferred by Northern policy-makers. The historical responsibility issue became stranded on problems of how to correctly represent physical nature in climate models. This marginalized the original intention that equity should be the guiding principle of the North–South interaction, arguably undercutting a potential angle of approach to advance the climate change negotiations. The article concludes that in the interest of facilitating the North–South dialogue in climate change negotiations, any framing of historical responsibility that excludes equity needs to be redefined.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 8, no 4, 339-354 p.
Brazilian proposal, burden sharing, climate change, discourse, equity, historical responsibility, North–South
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14986DOI: 10.3763/cpol.2007.0438OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-14986DiVA: diva2:37505
Original publication: Mathias Friman and Björn-ola Linnér, Technology obscuring equity: historical responsibility in UNFCCC negotiations, 2008, Climate Policy, (8), 339-354.http://dx.doi.org/10.3763/cpol.2007.0438. Copyright: Earthscan, http://www.earthscanjournals.com/2008-10-062008-10-062015-09-22Bibliographically approved