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Antto Vihma. Non-UN initiatives within the UN climate deliberations. ‘global climate governance is made up of an increasing number of international institutional arrangements which differ in their legal character, public-private constituencies, spatial scope and subject matter’.

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Presentation Transcript
slide2
‘global climate governance is made up of an increasing number of international institutional arrangements which differ in their legal character, public-private constituencies, spatial scope and subject matter’
the non un soft law in climate governance
The non-UN soft law in climate governance
  • G8+5 Dialogue, Major Economies Meeting, other high-level political processes
  • Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate (APP), and other partnerships working on implementation
some common characteristics
Some common characteristics
  • - not legally binding
  • avoid timetables and concrete targets
  • limited amount of participating countries
  • emphasize the strengthening of the role of private actors through partnerships
  • consider climate change in the context of other concerns
  • focus on technological development
  • many of them are initiated by the US
from un ity to diversity
From UN-ity to diversity?
  • “It is premature to conclude that the availability of a soft steering approach is causing environmental backlash […]” (Van Asselt 2007)
  • “[…] while Kyoto is not ‘the only game in town, it is premature to say that climate partnerships have lead to a weakening of UN climate diplomacy.” (Bäckstrand 2006)
  • “Partnership [AP6] may change the utility calculations of actors when they consider whether to participate in targets-and-timetables approach of Kyoto.” (McGee & Taplin 2006)
empty rhetorics
Empty rhetorics?
  • soft initiatives lack credibility
  • soft initiatives lack input legitimacy (transparency etc.)
  • soft initiatives are a US conspiracy
innovative governance
Innovative governance?
  • soft law is way out of the deadlocked UN
  • soft law is a complement to the implementation of the UNFCCC
  • soft law is a way to get developing countries on board
  • soft law is a flexible learning tool
research question
Research question
  • How do the potential institutional overlaps emerge in practise?
  • Are the non-UN processes discussed in the deliberations of and discourses within the UN negotiations during chosen meetings?
  • Assumption: if there is overlap/tension, it should feature in the statements of the practioneres (negotiators and stakeholders)
method and data
Method and data
  • Three empirical cases
    • Vienna Intersessional Climate Talks
    • UNGA High-Level Meeting in NY
    • Conference of Parties (COP13) in Bali
  • Participatory observing and notes from Vienna and Bali, deliberations from NY, webcasts and document archives, interviews (10)
positions
Positions
  • US, Japan, Canada, Australia show explicit preference to soft non-UN processes (they contribute to UN)
  • EU is polite but critical beyond surface (they should serve UN)
  • G77 prefers the UN but participates in other fora as well (they should serve UN)
  • NGOs are fiercely critical (they are attempts to sabotage UN)
analysis of the argumentation
Analysis of the argumentation
  • The pro-non-UN countries: soft law processes contribute to UN
  • Possible underlying driver: differentiation between countries, meaning the North vs. South framing in the UN
  • NGO critisism to soft law: effectiveness and transparency
  • The G77 position is somewhat schizophrenic
analysis of the argumentation1
Analysis of the argumentation
  • Two clear and potentially significant overlaps
  • Setting the mid- and long-term global targets in MEM or in UN
    • especially US vs EU in Bali
  • Governance of the multilateral funding
    • funds created in MEM and G8 -> World Bank
    • funding of the ’new and enhanced’ finacial mechanism of UN?
conclusion
Conclusion
  • APP and partnerships were largely absent, but Major Economies Meeting (and G8) was an important topic of discussion, and two overlaps emerged
  • Argumentation relied on producing specific results and feeding them back to UN process -> legitimizing the non-UN via UN
  • Effect on post-2012 is still to be seen
concluding remarks
Concluding remarks
  • Manuscript in process in International Environmental Agreements
  • First / second article of the thesis, scetching the empiric starting point
  • Next episodes
    • India study
    • Media study
slide15
Thank you!
  • antto.vihma@tse.fi