Published In

Melbourne Journal of International Law

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climate change; North-South relations; developing countries; developed countries


This symposium’s issue on ‘Climate Justice and International Environmental Law: Rethinking the North–South Divide’ asks contributors to explore the intersection between law and emerging ideas of climate justice, and how international environmental law is shaped by and in turn reshapes (or fixates, or interrogates) our understandings of the North–South divide. In relation to the former, the author posits that there appears to be a profound disconnect between the law and the politics of climate change, one that reflects a broader disconnect between those who view the challenge posed by climate change through an ethical lens, and those who see it in pragmatic terms. In relation to the latter, she considers the various arguments as to why we need to rethink North–South relations, and explain why many of those arguments need to be critically evaluated in terms of their embedded assumptions. The author concludes by arguing that climate change requires us to move beyond a politics of the possible to a politics of the improbable.