Governing Climate Change: The Politics of Risk Society?

Author(s): Harriet Bulkeley Reviewed work(s): Source: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series, Vol. 26, No. 4 (2001), pp. 430-447 Published by: Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Stable URL: . Accessed: 13/08/2012 20:52
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Beck arguesthat to central thepoliticsofrisksocietyare 'conflicts of over how the consequences of risk accountability' can be attributed. have added food forthought thesegeographicalconto cerns(Beck 1992. society point from to address questionsconcerning natureof contemporary politics.Downing Place. Cambridge.Blowers1997. It is argued thatin Australiathe novel challengesclimatechange of have been negated through poses to the institutions modernity ensuingpolicy which have reinforced linksbetweenindustry and and government.On TransInst Br GeogrNS 26 430-447 2001 ISSN 0020-2754? Royal Geographical Society (with The Institute British of Geographers) 2001 . or will take. have responses definedclimateresponsibilities withinexisting relations productionand the of frameworks modernity. While Beck's theory to providesinsightintothe natureof riskand directsattention theways in which notionsof obligationand responsibility structure politics. Sceptics suggest that thereis insufficient evidence to demonstrate that to theclimateoutsidethescope ofnatural changes variabilityhave taken. Gandy 1997 1999. This and with what effects. Developmentswithinsocial theory. from radioContemporaryenvironmental active waste to geneticmodification. new forms and discourses of governance have been created in the context of climate change.and how. Hinchliffe 1997. risksocietythesisforunderstanding natureof the climatechange' risksand politics. 5).Bennett In 1999.Eden failsto engage with risk definitions riskand responsibility of come to dominatethe why.whereand by how much' (Watson1999). particular politicalarena.but rather when.and the the risk in paper examinesits relevanceand applicability thiscase. parin ticularrelated to the work of Ulrich Beck. and the extentto which this has engenderedthe redefinitionof environmentalobligations and withinthe nation-state. of Cambridge CB2 3EN email: habl001@cus. Lash et al This paper examinestherelevanceof Beck's 1996). The influentialIntergovernmental Panel on Climate that'the balance Change (IPCC) argue in contrast of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence theglobal climate'(Houghton on et al 1996. the Chairman of IPCC suggested that it is no longer a 'question of whethertheEarth'sclimatewill change. paper focuses on whether. attract sustainedattention the of geographersinterested how such issues can in be managed and mitigated. responsibilities The risksposed by the onset of climatechange have been widely revised manuscriptreceived 5 July2001 Introduction risks. pollution air to soil degradation. controlled and legitimated.Governing climate change: the politics of risk society? Harriet Bulkeley This paper examineshow the politicsof climatechange have takenshape within Australiathrough construction contestation conceptsof obligationand the and of Beck's risk a thesisoffers conceptualstarting which responsibility. of spatio-temporal key words environmental governance risksociety climatechange Australia scale environmental justice St Catharine's College and Departmentof Geography. how theyare socially constructedand the political conflicts they provoke.

Harvey 1996. increasedenergyconsumption and economic growth)change the compositionof the Risks . and the need to create a renewed civil society (Gandy 1997.changes will be gradual. and its social and political contemporary consequences. It draws on research conducted during 1996-98. The firstsection of the paper considers the novelty of climate risks. Although the 'the structure styleof Beck's work do not lend and themselves or examieasilyto systematic analytical nation' (Goldblatt 1996. risks created as the unintended consequence of (Goldblatt1996. These evident in construggleshave been particularly textswhere environmental economicinterests and are seen to be in conflict.climate Governing change 431 environmental risks Contemporary Ariseas theunintended of consequences modernity Are distanciated space and time inescapable over but Areinvisible thesenses . as Beck argues. First. his thesis provides an entry point for examining the novelty of risk.and forthe analysisof the politicsof risk. Vogel 1996).155). cern throughout the recentwithdrawalof supportby the Bush administration the Kyoto Protocol for all illustrates too clearly. such as the USA and well as the analysis of policy material (Bulkeley 1999). community. The conclusionoffers some thoughts the implion cations of these findingsfor governingclimate change. incremental and within societal family. The issue of how to address therisksposed by climatechangehas been another area of contention. is debatable and demands consideration specific in riskcontexts. Several featuresof the issue of climate change of epitomize Beck's definition the experience of risk in risk society (Figure 1). which involved semi-structured interviewswith policymakersand interest groups. This paper focuseson Australianclimatechange policy as a case-studythroughwhich to analyse how the politics of risk take shape. are and that there are possibilitiesfor unpredictable alterationsto the climate system (Grubb 1999. on to scientific movements and the corridorsof power.the second sectionexamineshow obligations and responsibilitiesfor climate change were definedinternationally. has spawned international and domestic strategiesand public connegotiations. Climate change and risk society Beck's thesis concerning'risk society' ranges far and wide: from workplace. the role of science and technologyin modernity. It is argued that climate change is a paradigmatic example of the types of risk which are centralto Beck's thesis.dependon scientific to knowledge of risk Beck 1992) Figure1 The novelty contemporary (after the one hand. such as Apparently methane and carbon dioxide.the causes of climate change lie deep within modernity. and describes the dynamics of reflexive modernization through which Beck suggests such risks are created. primarily environmental. some hold the beliefthat. To examine whetheror not Beck's work provides insightinto the ensuingpoliticsof risk. the otherhand. released as of by-products development(the industrialization of agriculture. The challengesof govthe erning climate change have been apparent as nation-statesstruggle to come to international agreement and take domestic action. At the heartofhis explanation the concerning dynamicof to change fromindustrial modernity an emergent risk societyare the new. 156). Houghtonet al 1996). the IPCC suggestthat On significant changesin global average temperatures and regionalclimatic conditions to be expected. Whether contemporaryenvironmental risks engender new social and political processes.2 innocuousand invisiblegases. the class and and social laboratories. while the thirdfocuseson how these conflicts were played out domestically. In enlightenment rationality at placing rationality the centreof his thesisBeck draws on the heritage of criticaltheoryand its concernswith the dialecticsof the enlightenment.

of modernization(1992.Whetherthese risks have means thatdeveloped countries engendered new social and political processes 'boomerangeffect' will also experience risk. through changingclimate characteristicof risk society thereforemerits and theirassociated impacts(1992.and the monitoring might conceived. situations(Beck 1999.34-7). Beck recording global climatetrendsis dependenton This relianceon scientific understanding. While devel. Although accordswithBeck's suppositionthatin risksociety.given the nature of conare are for risks. Given these climate change can be taken as a globe and by future is the appearance of risks as 'unin. 189). hazards understandingof the processes through which the climatesystems. the 2) thatforms core of his thesis. 21).23).such risks are inescapable. 176). reciprocal tendedconsequencesofmodernity' createdby.the demonopolizsocial and natural relations of ation of expertise occurred and debates over time.432 Harriet Bulkeley Reflexive modernization of of Shift from politics 'goods'topolitics 'bads' and between Division politics subpolitics emerges of scientization politics of Politicization science. climatechange may be sensed by individuals.However.the focus of risk society. as characteristics. because of the intimately and distanciation causes and effects of risksare based Reflexivity reflection on 'causal interpretations.and occurs so that 'science becomes politicized and modernization drawn into policy formulation' the reflexive (Eden 1996. leads to the of problems:theyare development. while paradigmatic example of the kinds of contemthe impacts of climate change will be felt poraryenvironmental risks Beck argues formthe most in societies which are more and temporal limits industrial policyarenas (Beck 1992. 189).155-6).Beck's propositionthat. the turning on the possession and articulationof impacts of climate change will be feltacross the knowledge' (Goldblatt the formof the IPCC. effect 'the spatial. Beck suggests. The thirddimensionof climatechange risks is connectedto the second.23). transcending whether evidencewarranted and actiondominated the cause.Second.those which arise from a lack of 'scientization environmental and primarily constructed and thosewhichensue from conflict identified throughthe development.60-1). thus initiallyonly The transitionfrom 'industrial society' to 'risk and exist in termsof the (scientific anti-scientific) society' Beck describes as reflexivity: or modernity . oped countries responsible thevast amount temporary 'politicalconflicts increasingly of emissions of greenhouse gases to date.our a as risksarisenot from lack ofmodernity. modassociated with poverty and underdevelopment greenhousegases affect and as be but rather theside-effects elling of future of changes. argues that the 'world risk society' is beset by scientific different categoriesof risk. In his later work. further patterns investigation. This accordswith of risksof thepast' (Gandy 1999. stretching and responsibility.(1996. of Demonopolization expertise on of Publicdeliberation theconsequences risk crisis Institutional ofmodernity Beck 1992) of modernization (after Figure2 The progression reflexive atmosphere with untold consequences. was drawn (Figure the sourcesand experiences climatechangerisk into the policy arena concerning of potentialcourses are indeterminately distanciatedover space and of action about climatechange.those createdthrough mediation of risk.applicationof scientific techniquesand reasoning' the process edgement. Despite thisacknowl. Eden explains. providing dynamicfor. This knowledge about them' (Beck 1992. As science. Simultaneously.

of are 27-8). and consumpscientific. superimposedon interest ations. inadequate or impotent as decisionand legitimacy increasingly makingpower. debates and which originatein the dynamic of risk conflicts organizsocietyare .control locate outside the political system in economic.the legal systemand politics' (Beck 1996a. crisiswhich these prothe Initially institutional cesses engendergoes unnoticed. The institutions modernity unable to remain stable in the face of new 'conflictsof accountability'as disputes erupt over how the averted.101-2). and legitimated'(Beck 1996a.However. tion 'sites which were previously considered unpolitical'(Beck 1999. . consequences of risk can be 'distributed.unprenaturemeans thatthe dictable and imperceptible can institutions modernity not 'comprehendor of legitimize' them (Beck 1994. but their distanciated. This in turn rendersclass of and the relationsof productionless salientas the and organizbasis for'politicalinterest formation ation' than the 'relationsof definition'3 (Goldblatt 1996.climate change Governing 433 INSTITUTIONAL CRISIS OF MODERNITY Divisionof politics and continues subpolitics of Democratization science occurswithin system political REFLEC RESIDUAL INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY modernization Reflexive RISKSOCIETY Risksaretheunintended of consequences modernity in Risksaredistanciated timeandspace andcan not be sensed modernization Reflexive and Division between politics subpolitics emerges a Risksarisefrom lackof modernity in Risksareimmediate timeandspace and the "assault senses" of Demonopolization expertise on Publicdeliberation the of consequences riskand institutions modernity of communicative institutions on risk deliberation support Figure 3 The dynamics of reflexivemodernization Differen Subpoliti Innovative and legal undergoing a process of (unseen) 'selfconfrontation'(Figure 2). Beck controlled . Risks are produced within modernity. 1996a. .39) where previously 'private' decisions are rendered'political'.The dynamic of risk societyin Beck's view is underpinnedby a division between the (state) institutions 'politicalrealm'. 1999. 28).the traditional of accountability control. In risk of are societythe political institutions modernity irrelevant. 15.93.within Beck proposes lies the the process of reflexivity leading to possibilityfor greatersocial reflection a second stage of risk society (Figure 3). 1998. community technological. see also 1992.213. 10.. 176) throughwhich risk is understoodand delimited.conceived as politics'outside and beyond the representative institutions the politicalsysof tems of nation-states' (1999. While society'still makes decisions and acts on the patternof the old industrialsociety. The from concernwiththe politicsof risksocietyshifts the of distribution 'goods' to issues surrounding distribution 'bads'. 32). and and the 'subpolitical realm'.

third. 40). theusefulnessof Beck's insights intothedynamics of risk need to be demonstratedin each case. of will be subpoliticsthatconflicts accountability resolvedor ignored.rather. thereis a fairdegree of confusionand in over thepoliticalconambiguity Beck's writing sequences of reflexive modernization and the evolving 'subpolitics' of risk society. further problemwith the conceptof risksocietyconcernsits underlying dynamic: reflexivemodernization.Third. Marshall 1999.. Criticshave taken issue with much of Beck's thesis concerningthe nature of risk and society. (1999.179). development are democratized throughconventional political systemswhich fail to account for also subpolitics(1999. The unbounded nature of climate risk has profound implications for based environmental society. ties of contemporary that the politicsof risk societyare not conducted only. and thepoliticsof climatechangeriskconform these to is characteristics consideredin detailbelow. Smithetal 1999. Definingenvironmental . to Though it is not my intention deal with these to several points are pertinent comprehensively. 73-4) and are throwninto coalitionswith subpoliticalinstitutions and actors From this morass of evolving ideas.and leading to new conflictswhich stretchsocial relations over space and time.the formal thatit is within is politicalsystem weakened.questionable (Dingwall 1999.434 Harriet Bulkeley offers threescenarios of how the second stage of and risksocietymighttake shape (Figure3). Instead.whetherotherenvironmen- is tal risks are as distanciatedand imperceptible debatable. 91) leaving formalpolitical unable to fulfil theirroles systemsand institutions of decision-making. explanation The applicabilityof risk societyto all cases of risk contemporary politicsis not universal.. Bennettargues that risks have always and that the risks of been socially constructed.thatthe emancipatory potentialof risk societyis realized througha differential subpolitics.. This has led to some commentators suggest that thereis little novel in the contemporary challenges posed by thatBeck riskto politicaland expertcommunities describes. been disputes resolved' (1999.. Critics have and argued that the dialecticbetween reflexivity is reflection not fullyexplored and the emergence needs further of risksocietyin particular contexts (Goldblatt1996. currentlydominant. threekey pointsconcerning politicalpossibilithe risk emerge: first. While risk societyseems to describethe natureof climaterisk.On the one hand.66) whichquestionthestatus latory quo. between an 'industrial Any temporal distinction perhaps society' and a 'risk society is therefore unwarranted. and its appropriateness describfor ing the politics of nature and society outside western Europe. withwhateffect. that technologicaland economic society.4 this discussion.. Moreover. The challenges posed by climate change do indeed appear distinctive. it is suggested that a 'division of labour' (1992) occursso that'the truly politicaldisappears in and from politicalsystemand reappears.althoughthe risksof industrial modernity may well have 'assaulted . that the division between 'political' and 'subpolitical' realms is further of entrenched ensuringthe continuation industrial Second. or even Germany. 267.. the senses' (Beck 1992. this did not and does not expertand pubpreclude theirmediationthrough lic understandings (Adams 1995. Gandy also supports the view that throughoutthe modern period 'ecological risk and public health scares have been repeatedlytranslatedinto new reguregimes'(1999. 481).Whether. the of institutions the political system retain power and influence(1995. industrial todaybecause the society'appear certain over their insurabilityhave . 192) ratherthan because of any in difference the intrinsic qualityof therisksthemselves (see also Dingwall 1999. Rustin 1994. Beck argues that although the 'unbinding' of politics creates subpolitics.and the focus of Beck's later work. and accountability.or the secprimarily.Beck's work challengesthose accounts of the politics of global environmentalchange which take interests given (see also Paterson as risk. though he argues that the nature of contemporaryrisks do pose distinctivechallenges. Sewell 1996). that in the light of risk society.171). the as subpolitics' (1999. rendering regulation on national borders and future predictability impotent. ond. it is possible to argue that risk createdinsti(environmental) has continually risks tutionalcrises. In drawing attention to the importance of the processes throughwhich risks are defined and delimited. 475. through formal politicalsystem. 1996a.93) and therefore lead to the of continuation industrialsociety. First. On control the other hand. supported by innovative institutions (Beck 1999). legal and communicative However.23). 3).and that some contemporary pose particular challenges for the institutions A whichstructure modernity.The risk societyhas been seen as borne out of the particular circumstances postof war Germany.

Page 1999. These debates are briefly outlined.thoughthereis considerable ambiguityas to what this will mean in International negotiations and divisive practice. analysis of the obligations created by climate change has focused on the international and intergenerational distribution and responof.thisdebate has been cast withtheargument made that in north-south terms. While the impacts of mitigated. Paterson 1996b. In themain. Articles4. but on the basis of the kinds of conflictsof accountabilityfor risk and its thatBeck argues dominaterisksociety. cernsare articulated (Irwin2001. of scope and structure these debates suggest that the international politics of climate change risk have notbeen conductedonlyin termsof material to whichin any case are difficult identify interests.more effort of thinking the ways in which developing counThe triescould be included in future agreements.59).in other harm. its high levels of per capita emissionsand its capacity to take action (Argwal and Narin 1991. before considering how Australia's international obligationsfor climateriskwere constructed and contested. was not explicitlyincorporatedinto the Kyoto has been directed towards Protocol. involving concerns for the representation of 'distant strangers'withincontemporary environmental politics and raisingdifficult philosophical issues about the needs.However. farthemostlong running By and climatechangeinterdebate concerning equity nationallyhas been the respectiveresponsibilities of nation-states reducingemissions of greenfor house gases. desertsand identity of future generations. The UNFCCC (United Nations 1992. notablythe small island states and delta regions. The text refersto 'common but differentiated responsibilitiesand respectivecapabilities'(UN 1992 Article3.and how they can be has been heated. Shue 1999). Delimiting global responsibilities To date. as Grubb the of (1995) argues.Article2).4. is clear that some places will experience moreriskthanothers. as well as attemptsto shiftblame fromthemselvesfor the While thisproposal slow progressof negotiations. Toth 1999). The distributionof between countriesof the 'north' responsibilities became the subjectof sustained debate in the run the up to Kyoto(Rowlands 1997).risks (Grubb 1995. words. concernsabout international competitiveness and environmental effectiveness. it climate change remain uncertain. and in the need to take into account 'differences these Parties' [Annex1] starting points and approaches. The inclusionof such principles goes some way to countering claimsthatthepoliticsofclimatechangerepresents a form 'environmental of colonialism'(Argwaland resolve Narin 1991). the Conference the Parties (COP)6 process. 1999.the of USA. and through which social structures and institutions are challenged and reproduced (Harvey 1996). Shue 1999. 4. (Paterson 1996a).is a means through social and moral conwhich a range of scientific. mitigation have also been visible in debates Such conflicts concerning the role of individual countries in addressing climate change. . and also from states that technicaland financialtransfers the northare necessaryto enable emissionsreductionsto take place in the 'south'. The UNFCCC recognizes these principles. Australiaand severalindustrial lobbygroups argued that developing countries should be included in emissions reduction commitments to because of theirgrowingcontribution the problem. The followingsections consider how climate change and responsibilities were contested and obligations withintheAustralian constructed policyprocessin orderto assess how the politicsof risktake shape.1). Grubb 1995. and debate has raged over how such impactscan be compensated (Grubb 1999.Within UNFCCC it is repeatedly stated that obligations can fall unevenly on different avoid future In contrast debate over international the equity. or. sibilityfor.theneed to 'prevent dangerous with the climate sysinterference anthropogenic tem' (United Nations 1992. Rowlands 1997. how they can be averted or compensated practice interpretation intergenerational justice has provided a simplified rationaleforaction.thoughit does littleto finally the issue ofrespective Throughout responsibilities.140).climate Governing change 435 and its ensuing obligations. the of and involving consideration climateimpacts. because of its the northshould take action (first) of for responsibility the vast majority emissionsto date. a in premise which has been reaffirmed the Kyoto Protocol(Grubb1999. 103-4).8) statesthatdeveloped countries should assistdeveloping countries with the task of adaptation. and sources of emissions.5 The interpretation intergenerational of justicewith and respectto climate change is both interesting complex.

and and/orcon.436 Harriet Bulkeley formal commitments under gationsstembothfrom theUNFCCC and from potential the riskofclimate change to 'Australia'snatural. well as ... with. of the UNFCCC without furtherparticipation This clause providedAustralia.Ratherthan the transition proposed bindingtargets emissionsreductions Beck fromthe 'relationsof production'to the agreed by COP-3 at Kyotoin 1997.referred as the 'fossil fuel clause'. with the support of the on basis of the predictedimpact on the economy of majority developingcountries. with significant fuel fortheirargument thatinter.and adopted a argued thatAustraliashould shoulder its responnational targetfor emissions reductionsand the sibilities arena.Grubb 1999. urges thatParties: . The successfulcounterargument nationalobligations shouldbe differentiated the put forwardby the EU. as illustratedin the statement their climatechangeresponabove. 69-70.The acceptance by 'relationsof definition' the basis forpoliticsin of this position by the Clinton administration as at risk society. economiccosts of action: I wentto COP-2as a representativean Australian of like being a temperance NGO. of was thatlegally for should be takingaction. the intro. .the international with politics of climate COP-2 leftAustraliaisolated internationally how definitions obligation an increasingly of entrenchedview that any interchangeriskillustrate and responsibility are shaped by discourses of nationalobligationsshould be tempered recogby economic costs and benefits and the potential alongside moral and nition of scientific uncertainty scientific considerations. It was rather Advance Australiafair? on The campaigner a pub-crawl.Government take a more cautious stanceas the processing export.To thisend.amongstothers..defined primarilyas those concerning the energy and industries (Commonwealth1992. Diesendorf2000). resource This to with economies change. b) ifthere Australia an effective in the global reduction greenhouse role of do anything it about because oureconomic of structure Minister Howard1997). the potential consequences for Australian duction to this strategymakes clear. Australian delegation Wehavean obligation defend protect to and Australian was committed andinmost casesquite comfortable to. entered their second phase. applies notably Parties are that highly on from and energyindustriesbegan to urge the Federal dependent income generated to the production.1). from inception have also been seen to involvetheprotecsibilities tion of Australia's economic interests. As the analysis below illustrates.climatenegotiations intensive fuelsfor COP-1 in and working as environment. was keen to show its willingness to undertake scientists and some sub-national governments global environmental obligations. these obli.2 (a)). government that: there nota serious a) also owe ittofuture of to and is shouldn't haveto generations Australians play problem.10).. energy-intensive Hamilton 2000. particularly developing country understood.stresssquarelyin theinternational NationalGreenhouse As Response Strategy. the line is jobs industry. these concernshave structured theidentification assessmentof risksand have and Takeintoconsideration theimplementationthe controlled the in of 'relations of definition'through of commitments the Convention the situation of which the obligations climatechangehave been of with Parties. Article (UN 4.welfareand environments should climate and resourcebases. available technologies and other individual circumstances'(UN 1992 Article4. Australian and Australian We While such reservations were included to indicate that the 'developed countryParties should take the lead in combatingclimate change' (UN 1992 Article3. [to] theglobal community and global environments'(Commonwealth 1992). that economies arevulnerable theadverse to effects of backed Australia'sinternational Having initially theimplementation ofmeasures respond climate to to commitments under the UNFCCC. and/ortheuse of fossil Australiajoined with the USA in products which havesevere suchParties inswitching difficulties the opposing theneed to strengthen commitments toalternatives 1992.50). At sumptionof fossil fuels and associatedenergy. by developing countries(Paterson 1996a.environmental responsibilities Australian groups. theyhave been used to good effect by thosearguingthattheimpactofaddressingclimate change will not be feltevenly amongstthe countriesof the 'north'. Parties. (Prime and the factthatour population so spreadout is gas emissions Association (Consumers 1996). a key articlein the to Convention. the need economic structures to maintain strong and sustainable economic growth. In the initialstages of negotiating climatechange the FederalGovernment To counterthisposition.

omies should be given a special deal because their The justification for these arguments lies in abatement costs are relatively high (Australian economic modellingwhich suggest thatAustralia FinancialReview 1997) would suffer significant losses. The absence of any environmental designation of responsibilities was noted not only by environmental groups: is viewed as an economic exercise.Some majorplayersin theclimate savings of energyefficiency vironmental costs of seeking fair .John Protocol: Howard. but we believe that a desirable environmental outcomecan onlyresult from policieswhichare achievand for able. like Australia.the Federal to Government repeatedlystated that it 'would not 'sell out' the national interest'to take on undue responsibilities (Hogarth and Dayton 1997. as internationally untenable.. with disputes arising in gations'on thepartof developed countries light over whether it should be the energy-efficient of theireconomic circumstances. Howard 1997. Pragmatically. Despite this. existingrelationsof production shape the ways Meeting obligations for the global environment Australiais campaigning be allowed to substantially to increaseits emissionswhile the restof the developed world reduces them. The concept of terms of their and Australia(BusinessCouncilofAustralia(BCA) findings ability to account for the potential economic 1997. We for accept responsibility our share of the greenhouse task. 9). Newell and Paterson 1996.sibilities (Grubb1999. and theirobjectivity change negotiations.differentiation was also thought too complex to use bilities would have to allow 'differentiated obli. target emissions reductions(Hamilton 2000. In takingthisstance the Federal Government in effect is aligning the interestsof 'the nation' with the concerns of the resource and energy industries that taking actionon climatechangewould be moreeconomically damaging for Australia than other OECD countries: 437 Australiais heedingthemessage ofthescientists. However. Skehan 1997a). or particularly differentiation was touted not only as creating fossil-fuel-dependent economies. a paper Australia not seekingto be exempted is from the not known forits greenleanings: Convention. this fliesin the face of the principlethatthose who cause a pollution for problem should take responsibility cleaningit up (GreenpeaceAustralia1997). change Gilchrist and McCathie 1996). These ing levels ofsupportwithintheinternational arena have been contested. but also outcomesthatwould be environ. they have been used by the made its opposition to differentiationinternationFederal Government the basis forarguingthat ally increasingly difficultto sustain. stretching the issue to argue that lucky to be achievable and sustainable Coal (Australian resource-rich and hence emissions-intensive econAssociation 1996. initially saw the idea of differentiation questioned sponsoringthe modelling project(Bulkeley2001. mentally by participation and the firsthalf of 1997 the Prime Minister. merely thattheybe fairly attributed accordingto the Convention'sown provision for'commonbut differentiated' obligations of (UNFCCC 1992. In turn.1). such as Japan and Norway. Throughinsistence Australia'seconomicvulnerability small overand all contribution global emissions. as an equitable division of climatechange responsi. the possibilities for 'fair and equitable' a negotiating principle. Diesendorf2000. endeavoured to 'push the principle of compliancewith. in which climate change obligations are defined.21-4). measures and the en.. reductionof job GDP and savingslosses in theorderofA$9000 per During 1996-97 the principleof differentiation Australianin complying witha uniform and criticism varyfor receivedwidespreadcomment. Rowlands 1997. but also by the Australian Financial Review. This plea had little continuedto impact and the Federal Government its argue thatin defining climateobligationswith respectto domesticeconomic concernsit did not ask denyresponsibilities.Rowlands 1997). Without burden' in reducingglobal greenhouseemissionsconheavily Australia withtheefficiency based 'polluterpays principle'. notably the EU and the due to therole ofresourceindustries in USA.the resulting . 54).climate Governing change continue unchecked (Greenpeace 1996a.Article3.85. effective equitable (SenatorHill. Minister the Environment 1997a). the EU within the EU 'bubble'7 Commonwealth1998a. With Australia one of the on highestemitters a per capita basis. Grubb 1999. Hamilton advocacy of differentiation 2000). suchan outcome is notrealistic expect it to agreement flicts It is ..who should bear feweremissionreduction responcomes.that an outcome a is It go thatall countries should bear an 'equitable wheretheonus of response measures fallsno more Suggesting on than other on countries. In effective ensuring in.

.'subpolitical' resource and energy sector are Argumentsabout the futurerole of ation of sinks (Grubb 1999.developing bon leakage.throughthe pursuitof differentiated with lotofcoal. or opmentof 'jointimplementation'9 more formal the obligationsthroughout COP process has been using similarjustifications: thatdevelopingcountries included in the allo. that then somepolicy is problem. targets? Skelton 1997) attractedsupport from the USA.The withcountries..we see poorer technology. such as the inclusion of dependencies between government and the emissions trading. Federal Government the Kyoto negotiationswith the expectationthat operations outside the jurisdictions of any their obligations for protecting the global Protocol: environment would allow them to increase If you went to a company . Japan and others looking for a way round the proposed uniform targetof a reductionof 15 per you have to say whatis goingto happento energy and emissions thathapif cent by 2010 put on the table by the EU.. of emissions 8 per centabove 1990 levels. emissions coming is from countries so developing about you've tohavesomemeans tobe practical what climate change obligations entailed.. development yousaid to them.emissions were for 1997). and theneed to preventcarcountries Australia maintained its case for 'special treat.bureaucracy. therewere significant alongside parts of the Federal Government the resourceand energysectorthatwithoutinter. would tend to say .. Despite this marathoneffort. are cationofemissionreduction While responsibilities. greenhouse well be negative if you wentto may of 5 per cent below 1990 levels in the period IndiaorChinafor where you're using againa example tar2008-12. was gets. and indeed reinforced. the entered 'carbon leakage'.. diately prior to Kyoto 'the possibilityof limited.. In the days immeand whatwould look. Australia the lightof the futurecontribution developing of would have to reconsiderits continued partici. tinued to push for the inclusion of developing In addition to differentiation. the fact that differentiation a roleforAustralia an efficient as of worldsupplier owes more to political expediency adopted Coal (Australian Association energy-intensive products than any recognition the 'principledposition' of 1997). national acceptance of differentiation.. FederalGovernment and of Agriculture ResourceEconomics(ABARE) under a new strategy action.. Yu Ifyoureally believe that greenhouse the is problem a and Taplin2000. In it.the effect countrysignatoriesto an overall reductiontarget . thelion'sshareof all of theincrease in tionsin Octoberre-openedthe questionof exactly .. Australiawill just be not attracin tive us andso we willinvest other to Then countries. got in countries (Australian Bureau ofgetting the indicatedthat. turn. youhaveto . Firstly. If we were to stabilizeemissionsin the energysector the UNFCCC makes it clear that developed in by 2010 without any complementary obligations .438 Harriet Bulkeley differentiation every available occasion before countriesshould 'take the lead' because of their on world leader in everyforum'thathe could historical for every responsibility emissionsand capacity find(Skehan 1997b).8 assigned theresponsibility containing withinthe Federal Government. However. and secondly on the grounds of containing 1990-2010... find In late 1997 thispredicament receded. 113). over individual targetsin conjunction with other the risks of climate change have provided an additional arena through which the interparts of the Protocol.The exact numbersassigned of are the resultof bargainingamongstnation-states Far fromheraldinga fragmentation politics. and was one of the only three countries were accepted. [developing] November. Australiahad taken. in questioned this approach.the comprehensiveapproach taken to all greenhousegases and the incorpor. intertwined.. involved in resource emissionsof greenhousegases.. to address the problem.the resourceand energy fearsexpressedby some in sector. despite questions raised over their ment'. if was to yourinvestment decisions Australia happen carefullybounded differentiation' (Hogarth and forcedto complywith stringent They . The consumption greenhouse on you pens?Anddepending where go andwhatsort negotiated Kyoto Protocol commits developed on of energy sourceyou use of course. In theyconincreases. as multinationalsplace their Controversially. expectedto increaseby 18 per centover theperiod instead of the 28 per cent predicted. 116).obligations.perhaps So. In this melee. goingto allow you to engagedeveloping drawal of US supportforgreateremissionreducBecause. a key tenetof the in eitherthrough develthe Australianapproach to designatinginternational countries theProtocol.countries: pation in the climatenegotiations(BCA 1997.

the economicprosperity the presentgeneration other industries. from been mooted within a wider policy network Protocolthat did not include commitments thedevelopingcountries (Leggett1998. commongroundwith the US Senate.that the polluter pays principle should extend borders. In this investments thesesectors to planned shore. and some partsof the state at national and sub-nationallevels. The next section considers whether. formedbetween the formalpolitical systemand In thisdivisionof responsibilities Australian subpolitical/privateeconomic interests. 129). as it became clear thatthe was of productionare centralto the politics of risk. is a task allAustralians This individual for economic sectors and regions . FederalGovernment unable to addressclimate . similar conflictscan be national and supra-nationalorganizations'inter. as and rightshave been conblame.the broader definition well-being for the present frameThe choice of a spatio-temporal clean development mechanism and carbontrading. the respective responsibilities economic survival of the resourceindustriesand of withinand between 'north'and 'south' have con. about identified as the process of defining climate come to some understandings subjectively withinAustraliatook place.445). economic sectors. In The international docuconflicts accountability of turn.and 'subpolitical' is difficult draw. The fragility the balance work through of reached at Kyoto has been all too apparentwith ties are delimitedis notneutral(Harvey1996.Minister the Environmentto (Senator within a coalition deepen interdependencies 1997b).or a tinued to dominatethe debate as key elementsof towards distant strangers. represents it of values about both environmentand society administration.up to [A]$12 billionworthof Furthermore. 1997a).Article discourses have failed to steer the definition the 12). (Senator Minister theEnvironment resourceand energyindustries. International negotiations sub.The positiontaken in these can The FederalGovernment not addressClimate debates and conflictsby the Australian Federal to Change alone: Our nationalcontribution global of Government from behaviour thousands the of owes much to the dominantunderemissions results and of all to industries. and thattherelations above by SenatorHill. In the three years since the creationof the obligations away from the national interest. Kyoto Protocol.but Governmentto negotiate a favourable outcome were influencedby domestic debates over the the The preva.extentof environmental and economic risks. of the Protocol. generation. for example by Kyoto Protocolsteered a path between opposing Greenpeace and the AustralianFinancial Review views through a continued emphasis on tech.264).how risks and responsibilities should be shared course in the international Australia. Through these processes conflicts accountability of have surfaced liability. which obligationsand responsibiliremain unresolved.However.and with what effect.whichvoted of the concepts and practice of international New relations of definitionhave unanimouslythatthe USA should not accept any responsibility.10 The (Marsh and Rhodes 1992). millions standingof responsibilities primarily certain Australians. these new and the use of the across international nology and financialtransfers of 'clean developmentmechanism'(UN 1997. the social and political processes which on human costtheselosseswouldimpose Australian arose in response to climate change risk served for families Hill.such as the use of carbon sinks. which the and legitimation control Federal Governmentagain finds itself sharing engaged in the definition.climate change Governing 439 a between the 'political' states. set and embodies a particular the recent withdrawal of support by the Bush Rather.and through international negotiations.The Government simplycannotignorethe case. distinction developing in couldmoveoff.The evolutionofdomesticclimate negotiations duringthe within late 1990ssuggeststhatBeck's conceptualization of change policy withinAustralia saw the developthe dominantformsof knowledge and expertise ment of a 'partnership'approach. lence of economic considerationsas a key dis. summarized in risksocietyis too narrow. what norms concerningglobal warming mean' responsibilities (Paterson 1996a. levelsof government.held by the for Hill.these interestgroups relied on the Federal mentedabove did not occurwithina vacuum. provided an arena in which nation-states. and institutions have which privilegescertainplaces. responsibility structedand contestedand the risks that climate Climate partnerships change poses stretchexisting 'relations of definition'to theirlimits.and people.

state and local governAs the NGRS moved offthe drawing board and ments. Energy Resources thatprogressin effectareas.from regulatory approachand stressing need ing land use and transport.debate. thefaceofclimatechangerisk.. we with many measures ignored and few suggested in government more have in our flexibilitydeveloping and a lack national Minister Parer. 440 .theysought to redefine formation of domestic climate change policy sibilitiesby arguingthat a voluntarypartnership (Downes 1996. and the result. playing industry in for a more minor role.Indeed.manyof is hardlysurprising overthenarrowfocusof Greening theNGRS was seen at best as uneven (National Despite concerns GreenhouseAdvisoryPanel (NGAP) 1996. the approach was the most appropriate course of final stage of securing policy commitments action given the state of scientific knowledge and remained closed to participation from those potentialcosts of regulation. Lowe 1994. decisionsconcern. 11). by environmental et groups.emissionsreductions return 'green'publicity the NGRS was dependent on the (Taplin and Yu 2000. theirresponDespite an extensive consultationduring the In response. in that means. and other levels of formalpolitical nation-state. 107-8).In the wake of this outside federal bureaucracies. Given thiscontext greenhouse response for and of coordinationbetween jurisdictionsand policy 1996). thediscussionbelow illustrates. approach has been supported this at worse as 'glacial' (Wilkenfeld al 1995. does notmean of greenhousegases would not impose an undue this thattheformal politicsofthestategives way to the economic burden on particularregionsor industrialsectors(Bulkeley2001. most attentionwas focused on the Greenhouse Challenge.course of shared responsibilities the Federal by tained within the NGRS. industry both andsignificant that real . This allocation of menting was seen as crucialforthe Federal of which was not responsibilities co-operation stategovernments. However. and the failureof the NGRS to progress ing National Greenhouse Response Strategy climate change policy. local governments. The wideningscope of climatechangeresponsiAlthough the Australian constitutiongives the bilities included local government.the CommonwealthAustralia of 1995).Nowhere was thismore markedthan in businessesand who have initiated similarschemes thebrief debate over theimposition a carbontax at state and local levels (Greenpeace 1996b.11 The exactingtask of imple. moving away explicitly renewableenergy to a the technology.itwas primarily theseorganizations of into action. from energy-efficiency withinthisstrategy markeda signifiGovernment labelling of appliances.13) and houseChallenge. of which surfacedin 1994 (Taplin1994). Federal (Commonwealth 1995). communities Federal Government powers to interveneon environmentalmattersin the context of trade or and individuals.conflicts accountability over climate who suggested that the Greenhouse Challenge prochange responsibilities within Australia were grammebe extendedto small and medium sized endemic. The resource AustralianConservationFoundation(ACF) 1997). subpoliticalgovernanceof risk. response addressriskis applicablein thiscase. state would be contradictory the aims of the NGRS However. The adoption of a disGovernment. the Federal Government seen launched the additional Greenhouse 21C strategy (NGRS) (Commonwealth 1992) was primarily as a document produced by. the primary decision-makingpower rests with tary programmein which large industries and associations undertake cost-effective withlocal governments stategovernments. 114-5). (Senator regulations imposed. Commonwealth1992). However.Harriet Bulkeley alone. are still central to this process. through investmentin cant change of thatthe costs of takingactionto reduce emissions appears inadequate or even impotent. Taplin 1994. 1996). However. 1995. of Thesuccess theGreenhouse on Challenge depends a Taplin 1994). governance.. and for. sidelined from the strategy(Lumb et al. Only clear that Beck's supposition that the state is a concerted and co-ordinated effort all parties by on the subpoliticalsphere in order to dependent will achievean effective (Greenhouse 21C. Support for the strategyamongst level that from continuing ofcontribution industry is and the community was also negligible. As Beck's thesis would and energyindustriesargued that this approach change obligations in to the suggest. rely more or less forbroad participation: It explicitlyon other agents and institutions.a voluninternational obligations(Papadakis 1993. turn. is Climate is to of change relevant all parts society. Government: and which were forthcoming.

forsuggestionsof measures to be included in the demand and the economy has been has not removed responsibility from was initially for Initiatives. between governments thecom.the developmentof the new strategy many Despite thenew emphasison partnership.Community was need to take responsibility effecting for efficiency participation significant effected throughtwo consultationprocesses.level ofresponsibility climaterisks. draft releasedin March1997and one after Indeed.therehas been littleinvolvementin the political processes through which risks and responsibilitiesare the Beck's thesis suggests. feel they can collectively Development respond and when the of are responsibilities otheractorsand institutions In order to give state governments sense of acknowledged(Bulkeley2000b). Most.for ecologicallymodernist(Christoff 1996) reading of in example theexpansionof the Greenhouse Challenge climatechange possibilities which the statehas and continueddevelopment energy continued to privilegethe usual businesses. Throughoutthis process. and energysectorhas offset oblimore stringent Neither consultationwas a success.Despite evidence of public vided is farfrom concernforthe issue of climatechange. by change policy process has been profoundduring the International Council forLocal Environmental the 1990s.Intergovernmental Committee on Ecologically Sustainable Development(ICESD) 1997a. of the specific measures contained within the forexample New South Wales were giventhe task National Greenhouse bear a remarkable Strategy of policydevelopmentforthe energysector. The of programme standards.who see climatechange as an issue which and politically complex to is too scientifically involve lay 65). 2000b). played a key role in thepoliticsof climaterisksat to climate Governing change In 1996-97 a more substantial reworking of with domesticgreenhousepolicy was undertaken thereviewof theNGRS (NGAP 1996. but on the basis of Committee Ecologically providing explicit means throughwhich people on (Intergovernmental munity Sustainable 1997b. The principle emphasis towardsexplicitpartnership approaches means of fostering the participationof industry has taken place in the wider contextof a weak within the new strategyremain voluntary. championedby Newcastle the nation-state shoulderingthe lion's share of and City Council and became part of domesticpolicy emissionreduction responsibilities. and thelaunch of the new National Greenhouse (CommonStrategy wealth 1998b) which came into effectin 1998. utilizingpartnerships greenhouse amongst civic subpoliticsof climate change will emerge. forensurin late 1997. by appearing willing to undertakesome strategy its release. regulation. the of promotedthrough development theCities for relyheavilyon bothfederaland stategovernments Climate Protection in While the shifttowards programme whichparticipants fortheirimplementation. a ownership. The shift in to within Australia (Bulkeley 2000a). resource for the mationin orderto persuade people to take action. new Strategy reflect strong gests that it will not be in the light of further The will a evidence and disputes over risk that a commitment cooperative to to approaches address scientific issues.incentivesand funding. Lowe 1994).In part this reflects views of policy makers. the notion of sharing across stakeholders and withinthe responsibilities remainedcentral: community 441 . Greenhouse changes in the relations between energy use. This sugthedevelopment an effective. 9). It also reflects public underof climatechange riskas something over standing Theengagement stakeholders thecommunity which of and in they have littlecontroland which should and for identifying assessing opportunities appropriate more be appropriately addressed by governments andeffective actions essential is to greenhouse response and businesses (Bulkeley 1997. to reduce the emissions of greenhouse partnerships and participation withinthe climate attempt the run gases from local area. while similarityto those included in the NGRS and Queensland took on agriculture(ICESD 1997c). such as the provision of The involvementof local government has been information. with those gations that could have resultedfromthe impleinvolved resignedto the factthat such processes mentation regulations and fiscalmeasures (CA of tend to attract those thathave been paying close 1996. of credible broadly and based Strategy. The state has attention theprocess(ICESD 1997a.NGAP 1996. involved allocatingkey sectorsto different states. as well as by the provision of infor.b). CSIRO 1996. and the extent whichthepublic have taken action on the basis of information voluntary proclear. This programme. and and governments. when the Federal Government ing thatthecosts of such actiondo not fallunduly announced its intention fund its development on particular regions or sectors.

withprivatecompanies.arenas. politicsofclimatechangerisk the the involvementof the institutions and agents do not take place only withinthe formalpolitical and the commu. the argument through for risk. thiscase primarily use of energy.such definitions environmental of values maintain state is responsiblefor legitimating climate risks and construct (Harvey 1996). he and for theiralleviationthis is a task it can not signals the importanceof consideringhow sub in politicalinstitutions involvedin thepoliticsof are completewithoutaddressingthesourceofrisks. However. rather climate and responsibility.drawn from system and subpolitical arenas.and in discourses and practices through which risks. In addition. 104). 1999.NewcastleCityCouncil ing agreements and institutions new discourses as has implemented various energy efficiency and practices are constructedand contested in measures and invested in renewable energy in attemptsto legitimateand mitigateclimate risk. to some new discourses of obligations and systemretainspower and influence but is thrown in and thesignificance understanding of how particular forclimatechange. However. superimposedon quences. Beck's suppositionthatthescale. Beck's work also points referents modernityin constructing of and de.and thesocial structures interests justice (Harvey 1996).pervaded international negotiations holders (Bulkeley2001. and formal political system and various subpolitical of of to renegotiations the respective obligations gov. is difficult sustain in this case. legal systemand poli.. there are several points raised in . house gases by 20 per centby 2005. In drawing can to 'debates and conflictswhich originate in the attention the ensuingsocial and politicalconseof risk societyare . turnled to investment renewableenergy in and the responsibility. These links have been thatrisksociety in heraldsa new politicaldynamic.theyillustrate thatinterests temporaryenvironmental risks. compensationand obligationhave and domestic developmentof 'greenenergy'schemesforhouse. Gandy 1999). In some places. Beck's thesishighlights how the cultural dynamic interest the withinwhich riskpolitics matrix organizations. responsibilities reshaped.In new actorswith claims to legitimacy which a division emerges between an impotent and expertise enter the policy network.have shed considerablelighton the interdependenciesbetween these arenas have ways in whichclimatechangeriskand politicstake become re-articulated discoursesofshared shape within Australia.challenges for the 'relationsof definition' terial practices with respect to energy use as modernity be upheld in this case. 73-4. While such examples are take place constructs and is constructed conby few and farbetween. the main these remain tied to into coalitions with subpolitical institutions the temporal and spatial horizons of industrial actors. social and political processes as responses to climate risks have created discourses which 'given' risks. For example. society.seems more appropriate(1995.442 Harriet Bulkeley regionaland local levels. obligations These insights. debates.statelegislation The issue of climatechange has provoked signifito enacted in New South Wales in 1995 requires cant conflictsover the accountability certain of energy suppliers to reduce emissions of green.this does as organizations. spill out acrossa wider policynetwork but responsibleforthatuse: industry nity(Beck 1992.system. institutions and individuals not create divisions between the formalpolitical struggleto defineand contestliability. Rather.which has in generations Issues ofblame. While this process of renegotiation led politicsand subpolitics. As this discussion and the communitytake Beck's alternative has where theformalpolitical place.and institutional tics' (Beck 1996a.. Taplin and Yu 2000. scope and nature partnership of the conflicts accountability environmental risksposes novel wroughtby climate of contemporary within change risk have led to new discourses and ma. 40).In Australia.and in some cases thishas Conclusions allowed moreradical discoursesof climateresponsibilities takehold. limiting responsibilities so doing the nature of environmental and social interestsand obligationsare defined gain domiand which nance. while the nation. the and without risk.and have been incorporated intotheensuAlso in New South Wales. change has provided a new issue in which the Beck's thesis.places and peoples fortherisksimposed on future and distantstrangers. vision of the relationbetween ernments. However.existingin and of naturein isolation to attempt move beyond the spatial and temporal fromsociety(Irwin2001). 27-8). This provides a do not remainstaticand can not be consideredas welcome departurefromapproaches which view given as risk politicstake shape.

environmental contrast. stateand national taking action on climate change on particular ations.sought to reignback the influenceof the Federal on Government a range of environmental the nation-state.and National These new theneed to take intoaccounttheimpactsof action human world and futuregenerations.industry. have by some determinate in communities resource-dependent regions.For example. but rather define actorsand institutions Climate change provides a new arena in which subpolitical mutually these concerns have been articulated. coalitionhas argued thatresponbilities internationally In sibilities should be determined on a local or developingcountriesis in the nationalinterest. notablythe resourceindustriesand local Furthermore. ties in relation climaterisks. These negotiations and state to serve their interests.includingclimate change (Commonwealth1999). organiz. Wilbanks and Kates 1999) pursuitof politicsis not new. taking into account the costs of groups. not adequately capture the political dynamicsof policy elsewherewill also depend on actiontaken branches of governrisk by lower tiers and different contemporary issues. international mental politics is an argumentative strugglein have been seen as warranted climateobligations by which 'actors not only try to make others see the Federal Government only where unacceptable problemsaccordingto theirviews but also seek to on costsare notimposed unfairly some economies. actionsof efficient to that are confined theeconomically new discoursesof partnership.443 climate change Governing of the implementation climate change thisanalysiswhich suggestthatBeck's thesisdoes structure.change risks have been created. in had a long and involvedrolein Australian through negotiations whichstateand politics. 63). of The significance the'subpolitical'arenaforthe ment (Collier 1997.measures by promoting voluntary measures. individual.63) through obligations. of the This position reflects interests the resource In the politics of climate risk in Australia. redefined new coalitions and actors. touching and of the energyeconomy of Australia. controlling climateriskwhile also 'strengthening have been conducted withinthe boundaries of a legitimating its interaction dependenceon both theprivate weakly ecological modernistreading of climate and for where responsibilities climaterisk sectorand civil society'(Gandy 1999. restrict intervention thestatein determining local.suggestionsthatthe evolutionof subpolitics socio-environmental While this is partlya resultof Australia's federal will effect change progressive .and leaving (1999. obligations between the state. the arenas. process a lack of power withintheformal takes place but through an argumentativestruggle across of delimiting risksand responsibilities as coalitionsare the policy networkin which the resource-based across thepolicynetwork existing takehold (Hajer 1995.scientific and otherparts of local. 1998b). coalesced around climateresponsibilities through regulatory fiscal of the argumentthat the differentiation responsi.contested their respectiveroles. environand reconstructed. positionotheractorsin a specificway' (1995. the issues. the and energyindustries. state and national governments. state soughtto channelthe influence the O'Riordan and Jordan 1996).regional scale.53). to both in the NationalGreenhouse thatclimatechange riskscreateresponsibilities ResponseStrategy whichemphasize Greenhouse Strategy. role of the stateis not governed and finite notionof capacity. Theirsuccess is witnessed governmenthave articulated shared discourses regionsand industries. of liability and obligation have been on particular regionsand sectors(Commonwealth concepts resisted by the resource-basedcoalition and re.has includingstateand non-state and controlof the In Australia. However. As Hajer argues. coalition.1992. light.thepoliticalsystem The discourse of partnerships.the capacityof governments. prevent harm to vulnerable societies. arisennotbecause of the politicalsystem. as the state for intervention circumscribed it als. community. this and the participationof Furthermore. Gandy argues and concernedindividuin the lightof environmental industries. the non. these other structures organizationscan include different parts of the most questionsof need and demand aside. In this formalpolitical system at local and state level. retains a key role in managing. Some 'subpolitical' as well as private companies and individuals.these have been becomes 'increasingly dependent turesand organizations onlya fraction dispersedthrough society' limitedin scale and well as some parts of dominantresource-basedcoalition has sought to of the who have.Rather. politicalarenas and processes. Althoughsome innovative is responsesto climate on other struc. to has and is not left devoid of power vis-a-vis new sub. risks. and in recentlegislationwhich has definedwithinthe horizonsof industrial society. In creating and sharingresponsibili.and the market. or of since the initiation the COP.

and the Sir Robert Menzies CentreforAustralianStudies. and cultural matrix in which risk politics is conducted' (Beck 1998. Franklin 1998. Spain) while others thuseffectively make reductions (e.where the challengesthatclimaterisks pose have served to reinforce existingrelationsof and relations production. For further analysis and critiquessee for example: Adam et al 1999.Macquarie and the Department of Geography.Spaargarenet al 2000.London (Australian BicentennialScholarship). of Newcastle. it should be .. the and institutions capacitiesthatstructure identification and assessment of risks. as distinctfromthe pre-modern a constellation of period. . for Responsibility the interpretation ofinterviews and policymaterial.g. of definition 3 Acknowledgements This paper reports from findings my PhD thesis. institutions. Wynne1996. is the centralbody with authorityto determinewhat happens. Goldblatt 1996. During my visits to Australiathe ClimaticImpacts Centre. The Conferenceof the Parties (COP) is part of the of institutional machinery theUNFCCC (Grubb1999.and I am also grateful membersof the policy network for taking the time to discuss 6 these issues with me. The European Union has negotiatestargetsfor the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as a unit.and two for anonymousreferees theirusefulcommentson earlierdrafts. knowledge. efficiency Joint Implementation (JI) refers to mechanisms throughwhich partyA can assist in reducingemissions in partyB and have them'credited'as reductions in well as social and politicalinstitutions. Dingwall 1999. passing the pursuit and application of knowledge. Within the Kyoto Protocol. Hinchliffe 1997. It is withinthis constellation.JI is used to referto specific projects undertakenbetween developed countries.g. which involved developed countries(A) and developing countries(B). thatBeck locates the creationof environmental risks. Notes 1 2 7 this climatic Throughout paper anthropogenic change to is referred as climatechange. allowing fordifferentiation Hamiltonarguesthatthepotential carbonleakage for is significantly lower than has been predicted. Blowers 1997. while the 'clean development mechanism'represents an evolutionof JI in the contextof developed and (Grubb1999). Rustin1994. The COP met in the year in and has been whichtheUNFCCC enteredintoforce. and with reviewing progress in the light of expanding knowledge and it changingcircumstances. epistemological. Eden 1996.In Australia. 8 Beck uses the termmodernityto referboth to an historicalperiod. 1996b) must be treatedwith caution. and social practices' (Gregory 1993) associated with that time. which allows some countries within the EU to increaseemissions(e.444 Harriet Bulkeley and noted that in Beck's analysis the multifaceted and its is natureofmodernity not explored. 18.166).However. When 'Australia'or 'Australian'is used in thispaper it is to signifythe position taken by the Federal at Government the international negotiations. out 41). 5 University. provided much valued University to support.These termsare used when citing Australian documentsand organizations.I am grateful financialsupportforthis research for of projectfromthe University Cambridge (W A Meeks Scholarship. mine alone. they are the legal.. developingcountries (Beck 1992. Germany). linked to the Enlightenment's pursuitof rationalmodes of social 9 and rationalmodes of thought(Harvey organization discussionsee also Giddens 1990. Tim Rayner. Irwin 2001. As such. Marshall 1999. Bennett 1999. when and how' (Grubb 1999. see also Goldblatt1996. 1989. The pilot phase of 'activities by implemented jointly'was sanctioned the BerlinMandate (COP-1). withinthe EU.and to represent 'particular power. climate change is commonly referredto as 'the greenhouse issue' or 'greenhouse'. resultcritiqueof modernity Any environmental ing fromrisk societyhas made littleheadway in Australia. modes of production. forfurther encomHarvey 1996). Lash et al 1996. and any ensuing is errors. culturalnormsand particular practices.and will thatimpactson international competitiveness be to restricted some specificindustrieswhich could counter negative outcomes with greater energy (2000. Beck et al 1994. Which elementsof the constelriskand in are lationofmodernity significant creating shaping risk politicswill depend on particularrisk contexts. Gandy 1997 1999. It is 'chargedbothwithsorting all the issues which could not be resolved in the timespan of the Convention negotiations.58-63). The Smuts Fund and The 4 Philip Lake Fund). held annuallysince thatdate.itis notcapitalism whichnecessarily leads to environmental it formand risk.12. UK. Portugal. Susan Owens.rather is the current manifestation capitalism under late modernity of which creates risk society. 41). contested takenas forceas an explanatory conceptis frequently given (Irwin 2001). '[T]he relationsof definition include the rules. Thanks also to Marguerite Camilleri.

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