South–South approaches to international environmental negotiations

The case of climate change

Authored by: Eberhard H. Weber , Andreas Kopf

Routledge Handbook of South–South Relations

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138652002
eBook ISBN: 9781315624495
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter reviews central development and policy discourses about environmental and climate change in the global South over the past 60 years, and examines how the global South has collectively responded to these challenges in international environmental negotiations. ‘Collectively’ refers to major institutions that have represented the South in negotiations about environmental change, and more recently climate change. The chapter in particular analyses the roles of the Group of 77 + China, as well as the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and other, more recently established South–South coalitions in taking a leading role in negotiations representing the South (or part of it). The chapter provides a short account of the international governance of environmental and climate change by tracing major negotiations in this area from the perspective of governmental and non-governmental actors from the global South, looking at major differences in perception and interests between the governments and institutions of the North and the South. The authors show that despite asymmetric power relations between the North and South, the South has been able to emancipate itself from the North and to significantly shape the international environmental and climate policy arena over the past decades through principles of common solidarity and collective self-reliance.

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