London, UK


1.1 Introduction

In December 2015, representatives of governments from around the world will meet in Paris to discuss the terms of a legally binding global agreement for action on climate change. This meeting represents the 21st Session of the Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is the current global arrangement for collective state action on climate change. The ultimate aim of this arrangement is to prevent human interference with the climate from bringing about dangerous levels of climate change. With this end in mind, the purpose of COP21 is to get states to commit to some sort of legally binding agreement on climate change that will come into force in 2020.

Given that climate change is now largely undisputed and a central priority of the global political agenda, COP21 has become the most significant and highly anticipated conference on climate change to date, drawing public attention and inspiring political discussion around the world. As questions over the science of climate change have faded, the urgency of the action needed has become startlingly clear. The result is that COP21 in Paris is now seen as a ‘make or break’ opportunity for world leaders to act. Provided a new agreement arises in Paris, there will be continued discussions over the final details of this agreement in the coming years. This is just the start of the process towards a comprehensive agreement.

But looking back at previous COP meetings throughout the history of the UNFCCC leaves little room for optimism over the chances of a meaningful agreement arising in Paris. Since its creation over two decades ago, the UNFCCC has brought about little in the way of meaningful action on climate change. Instead, there is an alarming disjuncture between what’s collectively required to avoid dangerous climate change and what action has actually been taken so far by individual states, leading to much political, academic and public debate, not only about how to instigate action within the UNFCCC, but also whether it is a suitable forum for addressing climate change at all.

Some authors attribute the lack of action in the UNFCCC to a perceived lack of fairness among its participants, which in turn has created a political stalemate as parties argue over intractable positions. In response to this challenge, many philosophers and political theorists have considered what’s fair in relation to climate change. Traditional discussions of fairness in the UNFCCC focus on distributive aspects, which relate to the fair distribution of costs and benefits. Climate change is a both a global and an intergenerational problem for which there is much at stake. Many of those who will experience the very worst effects of climate change will have had little responsibility for bringing it about. There will be many winners and losers in the years to come. As a result, there has always been a strong divide in the COP negotiations between poorer nations, who demand more action from those that have historically caused climate change, and the rich, who expect greater action from rapidly developing economies.

Little, however, has been said about procedural fairness in relation to the UNFCCC, which concerns the way that decisions are made. If distributive fairness relates to the costs and benefits that arise from the actions of the UNFCCC, procedural fairness concerns how decisions about these actions are made. In fact, very little has been said about the procedural rules of the UNFCCC at all. Many of its procedural rules have not yet been formally adopted, operating instead on an ad hoc basis. In particular, the UNFCCC has not yet adopted any rules over voting, with the result that decisions are made by consensus, which allows a single party to obstruct action even if there is agreement among the rest of the group. This has lead to both stalemate and outcomes that consistently reflect the ‘lowest common denominator’ where ambition and leadership is desperately needed. Further, procedural fairness is not just important in its own right, but also because it can provide a way of reaching agreement amongst those who disagree over distributive issues. Given the stalemate that exists in the UNFCCC and the urgent need for action on climate change, a review and analysis of the UNFCCC’s procedural rules is long overdue.

To this end, this book identifies which rules should govern the decisions of the UNFCCC. In specific, it develops a set of rules so that the decisions of the UNFCCC are made in a fair way. As such, this book isn’t about what should be decided in the UNFCCC, but rather how its decisions should be made. I argue that if a decision is made in accordance with these rules, then an agreement will gain long-term support and endorsement. In doing this, I also show that, on account of its universal membership, the UNFCCC is the only appropriate forum for international action on climate change. This book therefore makes a twofold contribution to the debate preceding the UNFCCC COP21 meeting in Paris 2015 and its aftermath in the years to come; first, by determining several practical policy measures for instigating action on climate change and second, by arguing that states should continue to support international action on climate change within the UNFCCC. It does this by linking analytical political philosophy with applied public policy. Given the growing academic and political debate taking place on the future of the UNFCCC, and the need for policy guidance at a practical level, the book provides an important contribution to an otherwise neglected issue area that will be of interest to both academics and practitioners working in the field, including state delegations, NGOs, and international organisations. What’s more, many of the arguments in this book will apply to other multilateral agreements to address climate change. Its recommendations will not only guide the UNFCCC in the immediate years to come, but also action on climate change in many other forums.

The book ultimately develops several practical policy measures for the design of the UNFCCC. It does so in four steps. First, it considers the various principles of distributive fairness that have been advocated in the UNFCCC and shows that, not only is there disagreement over what is fair in this context, but also that there is reasonable disagreement over how the costs and benefits of climate change should be fairly distributed. This is important because it means that deliberation and discussion is unlikely to bring about an agreed outcome. Second, having shown this, the book then argues that procedural fairness is an important way of reaching a mutually acceptable outcome when there is reasonable disagreement over how to distribute costs and benefits. As a result, the current use of consensus-based decision-making is partly responsible for the political inertia in the UNFCCC and there is a consequent need to revise its procedural rules.

Third, the book develops several principles that should govern the decision-making processes of the UNFCCC, including principles governing who should participate, the terms on which decisions should be made, what voting method should be used, and how actors should bargain. It does this by analysing principles of procedural fairness and considering how they can be applied in the context of climate change. Finally, it argues that the UNFCCC is the only appropriate forum for addressing climate change at the global level. It does this by arguing that procedural justice is a fundamental part of any effective climate change agreement. Drawing on the earlier arguments, the book suggests that procedural justice requires that a fair climate agreement have universal representation. Given that the UNFCCC is the only forum that provides universal membership, it is the only appropriate forum for effectively addressing climate change. As such, the book serves as both an academic study of procedural justice and climate change as well as a guide for policy-making for international cooperation on climate change.

1.2 Climate Change and the UNFCCC

The fact that the earth’s climate is undergoing fundamental changes due to human activity is now undisputed (UNFCCC 1992; IPCC 2007, 2012; Stern 2007; Garnaut 2009). The Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are the most comprehensive studies to date on climate change and the impacts that it has on human interests.1 The most recent of these, the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report published in 2013, represents the most comprehensive study of the climate ever undertaken (IPCC 2013). This report states that climate change is occurring, that this is very likely due to human activity, and that unabated action will result in further climate change (IPCC 2014 Synthesis Report). The potential implications of climate change include severe and irreversible changes to the climate system, which are expected to have extreme consequences for fundamental human interests on a global scale.2 This includes sea level rise and an increase in the incidence of extreme weather events such droughts. It is widely thought that this will threaten basic human rights to food, water, health and shelter and could represent an existential risk to some countries (Caney 2009; OHCHR 2009; OHCHR and UNEP 2012).3

The IPCC also states that climate change mitigation is a global commons problem, for which collective action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will provide greater aggregate gains than continued unrestricted emissions (Toth et al. 2001, p. 653; IPCC WG3 TS.4.4). As such, the potential benefits of avoiding severe climate change are expected to outweigh the anticipated costs of achieving this objective (IPCC 2007; Stern 2007; Garnaut 2009).4 This has been reiterated by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, a group of experts, commissioned to analyse the economic implications of addressing climate change (the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate 2014).

Given that climate change is a global problem and that no single actor is responsible for a significant proportion of total emissions, achieving climate mitigation is often seen as requiring an international, if not fully global response (IPCC 2001, 2007). The United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the existing international agreement for international cooperation on climate change and the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP) is the official negotiating forum for collective decision-making in the Convention (UNFCCC 1992).5 This is an international agreement among nation states to cooperate on climate change. The ultimate objective of the Convention, which and has been signed and ratified by 196 states, is to ‘stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that prevents dangerous interference with the climate system’ (UNFCCC 1992, Article 2).

The legal instrument of the UNFCCC is the Kyoto Protocol (1997), which puts legally binding commitments on states to reduce their greenhouse gases (UNFCCC 1997). The Marrakech Accords (2001), the Bali Action Plan (2007), and the Durban Platform (2011) are subsequent agreements that have been adopted to continue action through the UNFCCC. Whilst the recent COP15 negotiations in Copenhagen highlighted the limits of the UNFCCC process, the outcome of COP16 in Cancun and COP17 in Durban renewed optimism in its ability to deliver collective action on climate change.6 In particular, COP17 established a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Ad-hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform: an agreement to negotiate an agreed outcome with legal force by 2015, which will become operational in 2020. The recent COP18 in Doha (UNFCCC 2012) committed to build on the framework put in place at Durban and this process was reaffirmed at COP19 and COP20 in Warsaw 2013 and Lima in 2014 respectively (UNFCCC 2013; UNFCCC 2014).

Although there is some dispute over what dangerous climate change exactly entails, avoiding dangerous anthropogenic interference with the atmosphere is now broadly seen as limiting global temperature increases to within 2 °C of those before the industrial revolution. The IPCC states that in order to keep a 50 % chance of meeting this target, it is necessary to limit atmospheric concentrations of green house gases to between 480 ppm and 530 ppm, which in turn requires drastic reductions in the overall levels of global green house gas emissions. But little action is taking place to mitigate the activities that cause climate change and the international community has struggled to come up with a collective response to this problem. On current trends, temperature increases could exceed 4 °C by the end of this century, which would lead to extreme and irreversible impacts (Global Commission on the Economy and Climate 2014). Some think that the lack of action achieved by the UNFCCC requires a major reassessment is needed of the current focus to implement action through the UNFCCC. It would be more worthwhile pursuing international action in other international forums and to focus attention elsewhere.

There are many other multilateral arrangements that coordinate cooperative action on climate change where it might be much easier to stimulate action.7 These are agreements amongst limited numbers of states to address climate change, including traditional international institutions that are now incorporating climate change into their mandates, such as: the Group of Eight Industrialised Countries (G8), the Group of Twenty (G20) and the UN Security Council. Given that the G8 and G20, as well as agreement set up to specifically address climate change such as the Major Economies Forum on Climate Change and Energy (MEF).8

There are also many arrangements between state and non-state actors at the international and national level.9 Examples include the Netherlands Voluntary Agreement on Energy Efficiency and the Australia Greenhouse Challenge Plus Program (Gupta et al. 2007, p. 761). National laws and policies are also critical areas of climate policy (Levi and Michonski 2010). For this reason, some authors argue that power over collective action for climate change is increasingly located beyond the intergovernmental system (Kingsbury et al. 2005; Pattberg and Stripple 2008; Biermann et al. 2009; Biermann 2010; Corbera and Schroeder 2011). Others argue that climate change politics is decentralised, or ‘fragmented’, reflecting the multiplicity of actors and power relations that exist beyond the traditional interstate system (Biermann et al. 2010). As such, the failure of centralised approaches to action on climate change, and the increasing prevalence of alternative forms of cooperation, has lead some to suggest that action might be better pursued in forums outside of the UNFCCC (Prins and Rayner 2007a, 2007b; Grasso and Timmons Roberts 2013).

These different international arrangements aren’t mutually exclusive, and many work alongside one another. However, focusing international efforts to address climate change in one arena does limit the resources that can be put into achieving outcomes in other areas, so there are tensions between these different forums for cooperation. For one thing, the UNFCCC can be perceived as the overall institution that should deliver action on climate change, so waiting for a top down agreement to arise may prohibit action in other areas as states anticipate action to come about. The costs of the annual COPs aren’t insignificant either. Given what’s at stake, the lack of action active by the UNFCCC thus far, and the emerging diversification of alternative arrangements for international cooperation, it’s worth considering whether the UNFCCC is still the most appropriate forum for addressing climate change.

1.3 Guiding Principles for International Cooperation on Climate Change

In light of the different institutional arrangements and institutions that exist in relation to climate change, a number of authors have evaluated the UNFCCC and proposed options for its reform.10 Many of these evaluations and proposals are based on implicit assumptions about the normative desirability of different arrangements and the role that they should play. The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report defines several principles and criteria that can be used to either evaluate existing cooperative arrangements or guide their design (IPCC 2014). Typically, the overall desirability of an institution relates to its performance, or ‘effectiveness’ in reaching an overall objective (for example, achieving climate stabilisation). But many refer to other normative criteria when making proposals about climate institutions, including justice, legitimacy, and economic efficiency.

The literature on climate change typically divides normative criteria into two categories: substantive criteria, which relate to the outcomes of an institution, and procedural criteria, which relate to the processes that generate these outcomes. These criteria are interlinked, in the sense that they can either complement and conflict with one another in different situations. For example, an institution that achieves economic efficiency may not yield the best environmental outcome (Philibert and Pershing 2001). On other occasions they are mutually supportive; an institution that is neither equitable, nor politically feasible, is unlikely to achieve its goals (Rajamani 2000).

Substantive criteria can also relate to the procedural design of an institution, just as procedural criteria can be matters of substantive concern. For instance, it might be desirable to design an institution that achieves a substantive end, such as economic efficiency. This involves ensuring that the outcomes of the agreement are those that minimise the economic cost of the agreement. But it also involves designing the procedural aspects of the institution so that these minimise the economic cost of the agreement as well. This might involve designing procedures that minimise transaction costs, or that do not place high information costs on participating actors. In this instance, a substantive normative criterion has implications for the procedural design of the institution. Consequently, whilst a distinction can be made between procedural and substantive criteria of institutional design, this does not limit the aspects of institutional design that each type of criterion applies to.

Further, some of the criteria proposed here have both procedural and substantive elements. For instance, the criterion of legitimacy, which is defined and discussed in the following section, has elements that govern both of these criteria. Separating these elements is common in the literature on institutional design. For example, Fritz Scharpf has labeled these ‘input legitimacy’ and ‘output legitimacy’, which respectively relate to procedural and substantive elements (Scharpf 1999). Both Thomas Franck, and Buchanan and Keohane also make a distinction between these two features of legitimacy (Franck 1995; Buchanan and Keohane 2006). The reason for separating such criteria into their substantive and procedural components, even when some of these criteria concern both of these dimensions, is to show that, in certain cases, they matter to both process and outcome. This is something that is sometimes overlooked in the literature. I separate these two features to demonstrate that one can focus on the procedural aspect of legitimacy irrespective of the substantive ends that it brings about.

Substantive criteria relate to the outcomes that are brought about by the institution. These criteria are important regardless of the process through which they arise. For instance, one might argue that achieving important ends such as avoiding dangerous climate change is the most pressing concern at the moment and that it doesn’t matter how this end is actually achieved, so long as this goal is reached. The literature on multilateral climate change institutions often refers to five substantive criteria for institutional design: effectiveness; justice, or equity; efficiency, or cost-effectiveness; legitimacy; and political feasibility.11 These criteria are valuable in themselves, but they are also interdependent and interlinked.

Effectiveness relates to the extent to which an institution meets its intended objective (Höhne et al. 2002, p. 33). In the case of climate change, this is typically defined in terms of meeting an emissions target or achieving certain adaptation goals. For example, the primary objective of the UNFCCC is to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that prevents dangerous interference with the climate system (UNFCCC 1992, Article 2). This is often proposed as the primary objective of any international agreement, and many authors advocate secondary principles that are instrumental to achieving this end. For instance, some argue that a high level of participation is a fundamental criterion of institutional design for climate change policy (OHCHR 2009, p. 23; Hare et al. 2010; Bosetti and Frankel 2012). Others claim that compliance and enforcement are essential elements of a multilateral climate change agreement (Barrett 2003; Barrett and Stavins 2003; Victor 2006). However, to a large extent, participation and enforceability are only desirable insofar as they are instrumental towards achieving emissions reductions or some other end.

In addition to effectiveness, there are three further substantive principles that are often given as guiding principles for climate policy: efficiency, legitimacy and distributive equity. Efficiency dictates that the economic costs of addressing climate change are minimised (Gupta et al. 2007, p. 750). Broadly speaking, a legitimate institution is one that has both the right to govern as well as a level of support amongst those on whom it imposes power (Franck 1995; Dingwerth 2005; Bodansky 2007). Distributive equity relates to both justice and fairness and concerns how the relative benefits and costs of climate change should be distributed amongst states. There are other elements of equity that are important in relation to climate change, including intergenerational equity, or intranational equity. However these elements are beyond the scope of this book. Further, whilst equity, justice and fairness sometimes have different meanings in different contexts, this isn’t such a concern for the content of this book. Here, following the convention of much of the literature on this subject, I use these terms interchangeably.12

But the design of a multilateral climate change agreement is not simply a matter of promoting certain substantive outcomes: procedural values also have a role to play here. Procedural values are those that relate to how an outcome is reached, regardless of what that outcome actually is. When thinking about climate change, this concerns the design of decision-making processes that determine outcomes, which are the institutional procedures for making collective choices (Krasner 1982, p. 186).

There are two procedural normative criteria that are of particular concern for institutional design: procedural efficiency and procedural justice. On the one hand, procedural efficiency relates to the ability to actually make a decision. That is, it concerns how issues such as how easy it is for a group to agree on something. There are various proposals for facilitating decision-making in multilateral climate change institutions, including:


Simplifying decisions and limiting separate discussions.13



Ensuring that decisions are compatible with prior convention.14



Splitting up problems into smaller negotiation packages.15



Designing negotiations to focus on the problem at hand.16


Procedural justice, on the other hand, concerns whether the means by which an outcome is reached is fair regardless of what the outcome actually is (Banuri et al. 1995, p. 83–5, 117; Rayner and Thompson 1998, p. 319; Albin 2001; Grasso 2007; 2010, p. 4). It relates to who participates in a decision-making process, as well as the fairness of that process. The basis of procedural justice is grounded in different ways according to different theories of justice. Whilst some argue that procedural justice is based on a fundamental duty of equal respect for the opinions of others,17 others claim that procedural justice is important because it enables affected parties to maintain their dignity (Schlosberg 1999, p. 12–13, 90; Paavola 2005, p. 313–4), or that it carries important instrumental value towards meeting other ends (Toth 1999, p. 2).

Whilst many authors acknowledge the importance of procedural fairness, this issue is often overlooked in the literature on climate change, and formal mechanisms to facilitate procedural justice are missing from most policy proposals.18 This is strange given the importance that many place on the value of procedural justice in political institutions generally, as well as in specific relation to climate change. The climate negotiations at COP15 highlighted that the COP is seen as an illegitimate venue for negotiations due to the exclusive nature of its decisions. At these negotiations, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua and Bolivia all renounced the Copenhagen Agreement on procedural grounds.19 Others have questioned the legitimacy of the G8 and MEF on procedural grounds, arguing that they exclude key actors and are insufficiently transparent (Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen and McGee 2013, p. 67).

To be sure, some authors argue that there is no intrinsic merit to procedural design and that decision-making processes should be designed with the sole intention of promoting certain desirable outcomes. For instance, Richard Arneson argues democracy should be regarded as ‘a tool or instrument that is to be valued not for its own sake but entirely for what results from having it’ (Arneson 2004). In specific relation to climate change, one might hold that the overall goal of international cooperation should be to avoid dangerous climate change, and that other values should only be taken into account to the extent that they promote this end. According to these sorts of arguments, decision-making processes should be designed to achieve desired outcomes, rather than to promote values that are independent of these ends.

But in response to this objection, there are at least four reasons for considering procedural values in the context of climate change. First, as mentioned above, many authors do in fact argue that there is something intrinsically just about the process by which outcomes are reached.20 This view is supported by empirical studies of human behaviour, as well as the claims that arise in the negotiations of the UNFCCC (IISD 2010; Grasso 2010, p. 99; Winkler and Beaumont 2010, p. 640). It seems reasonable to assume that there may be some cases in which the process is valued independently of the outcome achieved.

Second, the absence of procedural justice in the UNFCCC has contributed to its political deadlock. Despite several unsuccessful attempts to adopt rules for voting and broader decision-making, the Parties of the COP have so far failed to agree on its procedural rules, meaning that the COP continues to rely on the draft rules of procedure, which do not specify a voting procedure.21 Consequently, decisions are made by consensus, leading to ‘lowest common denominator’ outcomes, and blocking tactics within negotiations (Prins and Rayner 2007b).

Third, as I show in Chap. 2, climate change is an issue that is characterised by reasonable disagreement over substantive values. This means that no single answer is likely to gain the support of actors, even if they are arguing about the common good, and in good faith. I show that procedural justice is instrumentally important because it allows us to reach a mutually acceptable outcome when there is reasonable disagreement about substantive ends. In Chap. 8, I go on to argue that procedural justice is still important even if people give up on a comprehensive agreement for climate change.

Fourth, climate change is characterised by extreme uncertainty, and this makes it difficult for actors to reach agreement on the substantive outcomes of climate institutions. Some authors argue that, when outcomes are uncertain, actors put an emphasis on the quality of the procedure, over substantive outcomes (Toth 1999, p. 2; Foti et al. 2008). For this reason, procedural justice is an important precondition to creating and operating climate institutions.

Regardless of what one thinks about the intrinsic value of procedural justice there are good reasons for thinking about the procedural fairness of the UNFCCC and climate policy more generally. In fact, one of the central arguments of this book is that procedural justice is a fundamental element of effective climate change institutions. This book develops this idea further and uses it to develop a set of principles for fair decision-making in the UNFCCC.

1.4 Literature Review

Before explaining how this will be done, it’s worth reflecting on the existing literature on procedural justice and the UNFCCC. Whilst there is a great deal of research on the role of justice and morality in climate change, many of these studies almost completely overlook procedural justice. Theorists and philosophers have examined issues of fairness and justice extensively since climate change became a matter of political concern.22 Debate has largely focused on: which principles should guide the distribution of the benefits and burdens of climate change; the fair distribution of emission rights; what rights and duties people have regarding climate change; and, to a limited extent, fair adaptation to climate change. Whilst many authors acknowledge that procedural justice is an important issue in this area, few political theorists have taken up this question.

There has, however, been a recent ‘procedural turn’ in the literature on multilateral governance, as authors have turned their attention to issues of inclusiveness and transparency (Bäckstrand 2006, p. 467; Bäckstrand 2010; Dryzek and Stevenson 2011, 2012b; Stevenson 2011). There is growing consensus in both the academic and policy literature that principles of ‘good’ governance should apply to decisions in international organisations. Core elements of good governance include: transparency, participation, accountability, and the review and refinement of policy choices over time. Other studies specifically consider the fairness of international negotiation processes (Albin 2003, p. 13; Chasek and Rajamani 2003), often suggesting that the effective representation of all stakeholders and the impartial consideration of all claims are necessary conditions for fair negotiations, or that parties should have more equal starting positions in terms of negotiating capacity.

This procedural turn in literature on multilateral governance is reflected in the gradual accommodation of procedural matters in the treaty texts and constitutions of several multilateral institutions. For example, the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (1998), which assign rights to information, participation and accountability in environmental decision-making.23 Authors increasingly recognise that democratic values, such as representation, deliberation and inclusion are becoming common elements of the rhetoric of many other multilateral institutions (Bäckstrand 2010, p. 670).

These values are typically underpinned by a substantive right to live in an environmental adequate for health and well-being. Alternatively, they are advocated as instrumental values for the achievement of other ends. For instance, Karen Bäckstrand argues that the institutional effectiveness of environmental governance mechanisms is tied to procedural values such as representation, participation, accountability and transparency (Bäckstrand 2006, p. 468). As such, the promotion of these democratic values is instrumental towards achieving substantive ends, rather than intrinsically valuable. These studies often consider multilateral institutions more generally, rather than climate change institutions in specific. Whilst climate change institutions are a part of multilateral institutions more generally, there are also many important differences between climate change institutions, and other environmental agreements. Therefore, despite this procedural turn in environmental governance, more attention is needed on the procedural design of the UNFCCC.

Whilst specific references to procedural justice are often absent from the literature on climate change, this is not to say that procedural justice has not featured in the analysis of institutions that share many of the features of those that concern climate change. An example of this is the broad literature on the ‘democratic deficit’ that exists in global institutions.24 Following the increased interdependence of the new global order, there has been a revaluation of several notions of legitimacy and democracy in international politics. This reflects the idea that there is now a high level of interdependence between individuals in different countries, and that a democratic deficit has arisen due to the ‘transfer of decision-making authority away from nation states towards a variety of unelected or unaccountable international bodies’ (Bodansky 2007). As a result, many argue that greater levels of inclusion should take place in the decision-making processes of international institutions,25 or that there should be greater means through which accountability can be exercised in international institutions.26 The areas of transnational democracy, cosmopolitan democracy, discursive democracy and stakeholder democracy are all advocated as institutional innovations that reduce the democratic deficit of multilateral institutions in this way (Bäckstrand 2008, p. 79).

But despite this literature, there are several reasons why it’s still necessary to consider procedural justice specifically in relation climate change. For one thing, it isn’t clear whether such arguments are appropriate in the context of climate change. Climate change is a unique phenomenon, which is separate and distinct from other issues areas. The fact that climate change is global, potentially catastrophic, and highly complex necessitates a new inquiry on the subject of democracy and global politics.27

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