Project ESR 1: Climate Governance in a Multipolar World Order

Global warming obviously ranks among the most pressing issues of our times. Nonetheless, the performance of international institutions – most notably the UNFCCC – has declined sharply in recent years. Many observers explain this phenomenon by citing the inability of ‘old’ and ‘new’ polluters to agree on burden-sharing agreements and the unwillingness of most of the BRICS countries to adopt binding emission-reduction targets. However, the domestic climate policies of these countries are often quite ambitious. This observation points to the fact that most BRICS states do not necessarily reject emission reduction outright, but rather operate in part with different and possibly non-Western
understandings of how to deal with environmental problems.
This project seeks to investigate the growing importance of regional powers for climate governance and turns its attention towards the conceptual and cultural underpinnings of climate policies. It compares the role of the BRICS states in climate governance through interviews and discourse analysis of major policy processes to identify footholds for more productive exchanges and negations.

University of Hamburg