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Unanimity or standing aside? Reinterpreting consensus in United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations

Rietig, Katharina and Peringer, Christine and Theys, Sarina and Censoro, Jecel (2023) Unanimity or standing aside? Reinterpreting consensus in United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, NA . NA. ISSN 1567-9764

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Abstract

What is the meaning of ‘consensus’ within and beyond the UNFCCC? What alternative interpretations of consensus are available based on consensus facilitation practice and related literature? This article assesses the mismatch between how the UNFCCC interprets consensus and its broader interpretation in the facilitation practice literature, and proposes a way forward using the concept of ‘standing aside’ more prominently. The restrictive consensus interpretation has far-reaching implications for the ability of the world’s central climate regime to be fit for purpose, i.e., facilitating multilateral climate action. The analysis of consensus in the UNFCCC points to the central problems of unpredictability and ambiguity in the determination that consensus exists. Many negotiators and chairs acknowledge the problem of predominantly interpreting consensus as unanimity and have subsequently sought ways to address the damage it does through ad hoc rulings that consensus exists sometimes by ignoring the expressions of objection; however, this comes at the expense of a good predictable process.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: School of Law and Social Sciences (SoLaSS)
Depositing User: Ms Shalni Sanjana
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2023 00:31
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2023 00:31
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/14045
UNSPECIFIED

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