Contours of the transnational climate movement – conception and contents of the handbook 1

Authored by: Heiko Garrelts , Matthias Dietz

Routledge Handbook of the Climate Change Movement

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415839259
eBook ISBN: 9780203773536
Adobe ISBN: 9781135038878


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This handbook is one of the first of its kind to attempt an extensive documentation and analysis of the multiple facets of a social movement which emerged only a few years ago and which is focused on climate change. Activists, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and numerous other actors from many different sections of society are engaged – at local, regional, national, and transnational levels – in struggles against the causes and perpetrators of global warming and for a socially just approach to climate change mitigation. The climate movement formulates demands for more decisive action, in particular at the international policy level. It has grown in parallel with the increasing public salience of anthropogenic climate change which assumed relevant proportions with the publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 and reached a peak during the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The climate movement continues to be most visible, both internationally and in the media, during the annual UN conferences on climate change. In late 2011, for example, several thousand members of the movement demonstrated in Durban, South Africa and elsewhere in support of the inhabitants of Pacific islands threatened by rising sea-levels (Henn 2011). A protest march through Doha of 800 people to coincide with the Conference of the Parties (COP) which was held on December 1, 2012 was in fact the first political demonstration ever to take place in the host country of Qatar. Some observers have even spoken since of an incipient Arab Youth Climate Movement (Vidal 2012). Other protests and campaigns which continue throughout the year find less resonance in the media. Climate camps, a specific form of protest which goes back several years, were held in countries such as Germany and Italy in the summer of 2012. Numerous campaigns and social actions of civil disobedience against the construction of oil pipelines took place in the US and Canada in 2011 and 2012.

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