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date: 12 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

As a discursive frame of climate justice movements, equity offers a powerful critique of anthropogenic climate change and identifies key features of an ethically defensible response to it. But a gap remains between the equity principles embraced within UNFCCC documents and those manifest in national commitments to mitigation actions or adaptation financing. This chapter examines how appeals to equity have affected negotiations, emboldened or constrained parties to the convention, and been embraced by civil society groups in climate governance processes. Against the view that commitments to equity have only obstructed the international climate policy development process, it argues that aspirations toward equity have focused attention upon subjects and issues that might otherwise have been ignored, and have otherwise served a legitimizing function within the climate regime.

Keywords: climate change, climate justice, equity, UNFCCC, multilateralism, mitigation, ambition

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