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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the ethical dimensions of diplomatic efforts to form a global agreement on climate change. It offers a brief historical background on the core multilateral climate negotiation body, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and highlights some contentious moral elements of these negotiations. In particular, it explores the complex ways in which the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” (CBDR) has driven debates on how burdens for mitigation, adaptation, and finance should be distributed between developed and developing countries. It then considers the transformation in these climate negotiations since 2009, including the move toward a bottom-up architecture as part from the Copenhagen Accord to the Paris Agreement. Finally, it assesses the current state of climate diplomacy in relation to broader diplomatic priorities, arguing that climate diplomacy must be elevated alongside other top-tier foreign policy issues today in order to eventually achieve some level of climate stability.

Keywords: climate change, climate diplomacy, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, CBDR, common but differentiated responsibilities, climate negotiations, bottom-up climate architecture, international cooperation

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