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Journal Article

Voices unheard. Affected communities and the climate negotiations on loss and damage


Toussaint,  Patrick
IASS Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam;

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Toussaint, P. (2018): Voices unheard. Affected communities and the climate negotiations on loss and damage. - Third world thematics: a TWQ journal, 3, 5-6, 765-784.

Cite as: https://publications.iass-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_4156898
The Paris Agreement has been hailed as a victory for multilateralism. However, collective efforts to reach the Paris goals are presently insufficient to protect those adversely affected by the impacts of climate change who stand to suffer loss and damage (L&D). This calls for an assessment to what extent those most vulnerable and adversely affected by climate impacts can shape decisions on L&D. Taking an international law perspective, the article finds that despite a strong normative demand, the mandate and procedures for participation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are presently insufficient to lend an effective voice to affected communities in the negotiations. The article considers the suitability and political feasibility of the affected persons’ organisations (APO) model of representation in the climate regime, specifically in the context of the L&D negotiations. It argues that this model could in principle be useful to enhance the participation of communities vulnerable to and affected by L&D. However, the article finds that in order for the APO model to become a political reality in the specific context of L&D, conceptual challenges of who is affected need to be addressed and a shift in the framing of L&D is required.