Climate Rights and Obligations for Emerging States: The Cases of Brazil and South Africa
From site: Latin American Studies
A talk by Kathryn Hochstetler, CIGI Chiar of Governance in the Americas, Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo (Canada)
Date: Thursday, January 26th, 2012
Time: 4:30 pm
Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Location: WEITZ Center Room 236 (new location)
Sponsored by: Latin American Studies
Contact: Mary Tatge, x4252
The global climate regime has been oriented around a sharp distinction between developed and developing states. Under the Kyoto Protocol, the former have obligations to reduce their climate emissions while the latter do not. The 21st century rise of countries like China, India, Brazil, and South Africa (BASIC) has unsettled that status quo. As large and fast-growing emitters with continuing problems of deep poverty and inequality, they do not fit easily in either category. This paper examines their climate rights and obligations, building on analysis of how Brazil, South Africa, and the BASIC countries collectively present themselves in climate debates. How do they balance claims of the developed world’s historic responsibility for global warming with the possibility that they might be developed enough to take on responsibility for reducing their emissions? What rights do they claim in the global governance of climate, and what obligations might they accept? The paper concludes with a discussion of whether the emerging powers force rethinking some of the rights claims of global environmental politics more generally, including concepts like ecological debt, environmental justice, and the environmentalism of the poor.
Kathryn Hochstetler is CIGI Chair of Governance in the Americas in the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Professor of Political Science at the University of Waterloo. Previously, she taught in the Political Science departments of the University of New Mexico and Colorado State University. She has also held research positions at the Centre for Brazilian Studies at Oxford University and the Instituto de Desarrollo Economico y Social (Institute for Economic and Social Development) in Buenos Aires. Her PhD is from the University of Minnesota, in Political Science. Dr. Hochstetler has published widely on topics such as civil society and social movements, environmental politics, and presidentialism, with an empirical focus on South America or United Nations conferences. She has published three books: Greening Brazil: Environmental Activism in State and Society (Duke University Press, 2007, with Margaret E. Keck); Advances in International Environmental Politics (Palgrave MacMillan, 2006, co-edited with Michele Betsill and Dimitris Stevis); and Sovereignty, Democracy and Global Civil Society: State-Society Relations at UN World Conferences (SUNY University Press, 2005, with Ann Marie Clark and Elisabeth Jay Friedman).