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Eduardo Viola and Kathryn Hochstetler

Brazil has been a major figure in global climate politics since it hosted the 1992 Rio conference where the first international climate action agreement was signed. Recently, its rising emissions and alliance with other emerging powers in the negotiations have helped to make it even more central. In this chapter, we argue that Brazil’s domestic climate politics is central to its participation in international climate negotiations. We show how a multi-faceted coalition of ‘Baptists and bootleggers’ grew inside Brazil through the 2000s, resulting in significant new acceptance of climate action at the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010. Brazil passed a national climate law and made its first international pledge to reduce emissions at the time of the international negotiations in Copenhagen. Since then, however, the coalition has fragmented, and Brazil has retreated. The national climate law is being implemented only partially and very slowly, as emissions have ticked up. This does not mean that Brazilian climate positions are exactly back to where they were a decade ago, but they show that gains in climate action cannot be assumed to be linear and locked-in.

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Chukwumerije Okereke

It is widely acknowledged that significant involvement of business is critical for the success of national and international climate policy. Despite this increasing awareness of the salience of climate change and its potential impacts, however, there is little so far in prevailing corporate carbon management approaches to strongly alter pre-existing carbon-intensive practices and induce radical societal transformation towards greener economies. This chapter proposes that the history of business climate strategies can be divided into four distinct if overlapping eras: (1) opposition, (2) reluctant support, (3) backtracking and (4) ambivalence. The chapter also reviews the utility of front running theories in explaining the orientation and changes in corporate strategies for climate change. Analysis suggests that an understanding of the complex interplay between competitive dynamics, societal and regulatory pressures that goes beyond narrow market or environmental management perspective is needed to explain the prospects and limits of global corporate climate governance.

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Esther Turnhout, Margaret M. Skutsch and Jessica de Koning

In the global climate debate, science and governance are intimately connected and co-produced. One way in which this is done is through carbon accounting. Practices of carbon accounting are not just technical and will have considerable governance implications as they are used to assess the performance of climate mitigation projects. This chapter outlines a theoretical perspective for analyzing carbon accounting as a technology of global climate governance. We use the example of forest carbon accounting for REDD+ to argue that carbon accounting creates a specific field of visibility that not only represents carbon but also functions as a site of political action. As such, we focus the attention on the productive forms of power involved in carbon accounting and the way these technologies simultaneously highlight and obscure specific forms of knowledge and connect and disconnect actors on multiple scales.

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Pu Yongjian and Xiong Ailun

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Chi-Han Ai and Oriane Pillet

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Phillip Stalley

As the leading emitter of greenhouse gases, China is arguably the most important player in international climate change negotiations. Emphasizing its status as a developing country, China has traditionally demonstrated an aversion to legally binding emission limits. Arguing in favor of the common but differentiated responsibility principle (CBDR), which holds that developed countries bear the principal obligation for combating climate change, China has consistently avoided commitments while urging developed countries to increase the ambition of its own reduction pledges and financial assistance. However, over time China has made some key compromises, and particularly since the Copenhagen talks in 2009, China’s position has softened. Both China’s considerable investment in green technology and its expanding web of domestic climate change initiatives contribute to this change. Pressure from the international community, and especially from the developing world, have also added to the evolution of China’s climate change diplomacy. This chapter assesses the evolution of China’s position in climate change negotiations and highlights the key factors influencing its approach to international climate change politics.

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Kam Wing Chan

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China’s Urban Century

Governance, Environment and Socio-Economic Imperatives

Edited by François Gipouloux

The achievements of China’s urbanization should not be evaluated solely in terms of adequate infrastructures, but also in their ability to implement sound governance practices to ensure social, environmental and economic development. This book addresses several key challenges faced by Chinese cities, based on the most recent policies and experiments adopted by central and local governments. The contributors offer an interdisciplinary analysis of the urbanization process in China, and examine the following key topics: the institutional foundations of Chinese cities, the legal status of the land, the rural to urban migration, the preservation of the urban heritage and the creation of urban community, and the competitiveness of Chinese cities. They define the current issues and challenges emerging from China’s urbanization.
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Chen Hongfeng and Wang Jingya