Antagonistic Standpoints

The climate justice coalition viewed in light of a theory of societal relationships with nature

Authored by: Philip Bedall , Christoph Görg

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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Over the last few years climate change has seen a remarkable process of (re-)politicization that has come to envelop even the political institutions created to address it. Not least since the heated debates that took place at the UN climate conference at Copenhagen in 2009 and the subsequent laborious negotiations within the UNFCCC, it has become apparent that the ‘Rio institutions’ are in crisis (Park et al. 2008). It has also become clear that climate change is a complex set of conflicts characterized by numerous interlocking lines of division and dissent. Some of these have to do with how we arrive at an adequate understanding of the climate crisis, how we interpret it and frame it given its scientific, economic, and political aspects – ranging from doubts about the very existence of anthropogenic climate change to disagreement over the use of market-based instruments. These debates are closely connected in turn to substantial issues of societal development, the eruption of conflicts of interest along with their associated power relations, and, not least, the intermeshing of the climate crisis with the economic and financial crisis.

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