The Global Climate Regime and Transitional Justice

The Global Climate Regime and Transitional Justice

Geopolitical changes combined with the increasing urgency of ambitious climate action have re-opened debates about justice and international climate policy. Mechanisms and insights from transitional justice have been used in over thirty countries across a range of conflicts at the interface of historical responsibility and imperatives for collective futures. However, lessons from transitional justice theory and practice have not been systematically explored in the climate context. The comparison gives rise to new ideas and strategies that help address climate change dilemmas.

This book examines the potential of transitional justice insights to inform global climate governance. It lays out core structural similarities between current global climate governance tensions and transitional justice contexts. It explores how transitional justice approaches and mechanisms could be productively applied in the climate change context. These include responsibility mechanisms such as amnesties, legal accountability measures, and truth commissions, as well as reparations and institutional reform. The book then steps beyond reformist transitional justice practice to consider more transformative approaches, and uses this to explore a wider set of possibilities for the climate context.

Each chapter presents one or more concrete proposals arrived at by using ideas from transitional justice and applying them to the justice tensions central to the global climate context. By combining these two fields the book provides a new framework through which to understand the challenges of addressing harms and strengthening collective climate action. This book will be of great interest to scholars and practitioners of climate change and transitional justice.

See: Routledge Advances in Climate Change Research
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"It's time for new ideas on dealing with climate change and its devastating impacts on some people and nations. In this original, needed, and compelling mash-up of two distinct fields, Klinsky and Brankovic bring vast knowledge of time-tested solutions developed in knotty conflicts and efforts to rebuild societies after brutal dictatorships or civil wars to bear on the issue of climate justice. The Global Climate Regime and Transitional Justice gets us remarkably far down the road of thinking this through, providing lessons and proposing considered ways forward on issues like who might constitute a truth commission, what reparations might look like, and why we really need all this. A major contribution." – Timmons Roberts, Climate and Development Lab, Brown University

"This book is a must-read for all who work in the fields of climate justice, institution building, and transformation with a forward-looking approach. The authors highlight the essential purpose of both responses to climate change and transitional justice, and the experience we have drawn from transitional justice over the last decades. Justice is more than punishment and atonement. It is to establish human rights- and good governance-based sustainable institutions that are resilient and responsive enough to the challenges climate change poses to us. Transitional justice measures and procedures build the foundations not only to deal with past wrongdoings or man-made disasters, they also provide pathways to repair past climate injustice and work toward preventing recurrence, as shown in this book." – Anja Mihr, Center on Governance through Human Rights, Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform

Senior Researcher and Advocacy LME Specialist | + posts

Jasmina Brankovic is the Senior Research Specialist at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation and the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Transitional Justice. With a focus on participatory methods, she conducts research on inequality and socioeconomic transformation, climate justice, gender in conflict, and civil society strategies for social change in transitional contexts.

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