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Democracy, legitimacy and international climate change law and policy

Title data

Kaime, Thokozani:
Democracy, legitimacy and international climate change law and policy.
In: Kaime, Thokozani (ed.): International Climate Change Law and Policy : Cultural Legitimacy in Adaptation and Mitigation. - London; New York : Routledge , 2014 . - pp. 206-219
ISBN 978-0-415-83223-6

Abstract in another language

From governments, to peoples, to individuals, NGOs and technocrats, the range of players in the climate change debate is immense. A simple, yet useful, suggestion would be that all these communities of interest do own the debate in some shape or form given the interconnections between their interests and interventions. Although such a response does not unpack the issues, it is clear is that climate change presents us with a massive, unprecedented and multi-faceted challenges. It may be seen as an example of deep market failure resulting from misaligned incentives; as a behaviour problem, requiring marked shifts in the choices of millions of organisations and billions of people; as a cue for a fundamental shift in our civilisation, away from the energy systems that have given us the current landscape of ‘modernity’; as an intertemporal and intergenerational challenge that must deliver results over periods spanning generations; or as an immediate challenge that must be addressed by most, or all, of the world’s nations within just a few years. This expansive range of problems posed by climate change couples with the wide ranging constituencies that claim to own the climate change debate brings with it an unprecedented level of co-ordination, co-operation and collective action. Without carefully planned collaboration that takes into account the inputs of all the ‘owners’ of the climate change debate, it is unlikely that climate change initiatives will enjoy the level of legitimacy necessary to ensure the efficacy of those interventions. In this concluding chapter, I focus on this issue of ‘ownership’ and examine the role played by international law and international institutions in the framing climate change law and policy. The focus on international institutions is deliberate-the scale of the climate challenge is such that success will be achieved only if effective interstate solutions are fashioned. Building on this obvious need for cross-border collaboration, I argue that in order for international law and policy on climate change to have any impact, there is need for deep form of democratic practice to be embedded in the processes of international institutions dealing with climate change. International law requires this whilst domestic practice gives the pointers. Unless this is done, the risk of failure for international legal and policy interventions will remain exceptionally high, a risk that the international community can ill-afford.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a book
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Law > Chair African Legal Studies > Chair African Legal Studies - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thokozani Kaime
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Law
Faculties > Faculty of Law, Business and Economics > Department of Law > Chair African Legal Studies
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 340 Law
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2020 07:31
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2020 08:06