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The Copenhagen turn in global climate governance and the contentious history of differentiation in international law

Citation

McGee, J and Steffek, J, The Copenhagen turn in global climate governance and the contentious history of differentiation in international law, Journal of Environmental Law, 28, (1) pp. 37-63. ISSN 1464-374X (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright The Author 2016

DOI: doi:10.1093/jel/eqw003

Abstract

The 2009 Copenhagen Accord marked a significant shift in global climate governance which has been substantially adopted in the 2015 Paris Agreement. At Copenhagen, binding targets for states to reduce emissions were replaced by voluntary pledges. We argue that the Polanyian ‘double movement’ offers a useful lens to understand the Copenhagen shift in global climate governance as part of ongoing contestation in the international law system between principles of economic liberalisation and redistributive intervention. In the second half of the 20th century, redistributive design of international legal institutions became evident in a number of issue areas including trade law, oceans law and the seminal climate treaties. However, there has been ongoing US lead opposition to ‘redistributive multilateralism’ (RM), particularly over the last decade of climate negotiations. The Copenhagen model of voluntary pledges, therefore, needs to be viewed as an outcome of this opposition to RM and a related weakening of differentiation in international environmental law.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:UNFCCC, Copenhagen accord, regime design, differentiation of duties,
Research Division:Law and Legal Studies
Research Group:Law
Research Field:Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Climate and Climate Change
Objective Field:Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified
Author:McGee, J (Dr Jeffrey McGee)
ID Code:104833
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2015-11-20
Last Modified:2017-12-14
Downloads:0

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