Procedural Fairness Essays

Procedural Fairness Essays-51
In doing so, the IPCC can frame—(indeed has often framed)—climate science and policy in ways that provide legitimacy for one approach over competing alternatives (Fløttum et al. For example, the IPCC has been criticized for promoting a utilitarian economic frame for climate policy with its emphasis on cost-benefit analyses and underappreciation of ethical considerations (Bjurström and Polk ).More recently, in the AR5, the IPCC appears to have made a concerted attempt to frame climate change in terms of risk rather than, for example, as a challenge warranting fundamental changes in the values and structure of societies (Fløttum et al. Furthermore, while the IPCC strives hard to stick to its mandate to provide policy-relevant information without being policy prescriptive, they have, in the past, perhaps unavoidably, made pronouncements on very controversial social and political issues such as luxury emissions, historical responsibility for emissions, value of life, discount rates and division of country groups some of which have been viewed as validating worldviews that promote climate policies that marginalize poor countries (Khanna and Chapman ).As the sixth IPCC assessment cycle gets underway, it is vital to continue to explore how best to analyse and strengthen procedural fairness in the IPCC with a view to enhancing the organization’s ability to meet its objectives of producing sound, balanced and comprehensive reports that can drive effective and equitable global response to climate change. In the next section, I review the basis for possible sentiment against procedural justice in the IPCC and I demonstrate how, to what end, and with what effects questions of fairness and procedural justice matter in the IPCC work.

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In recognition of its unique position, the IPCC goes to considerable length to ensure the transparency of its process.

The IPCC generally avoids the language of justice and fairness but rather prefers to justify its rules of procedural as well as the drive to increase the participation of authors from developing countries in terms of bolstering its credibility and legitimacy. () among others have all noted, the legitimacy of, and trust in, institutions are both strongly linked to perceptions of procedural fairness.

This helps to explain why even with the best effort at scientific objectivity, the IPCC report still demonstrates a bias towards powerful political interests and epistemologies (Ford et al. Hence, in facilitating a process where a diverse range of knowledge claims and views are effectively represented and considered, explicit attention to procedural fairness could mitigate or counter-balance the inevitable influences of political interests and epistemologies.

In doing so, procedural fairness can help to bring about the outcome of good science, understood in terms of credible, relevant, comprehensive, and balanced assessment—all of which are objectives explicitly embraced by the IPCC. ) has demonstrated that procedural fairness promotes trust and cooperation which enhances efficiency and effectiveness in group work—all these are outcomes that many would readily embrace as desirable for the IPCC.

These have included notable efforts to increase the representation of authors from developing countries, balancing the constitution of Coordinating Lead Authors, expanding the work on adaptation, and widening the remit of the chapters to deal with equity and sustainable development (Najam et al. Despite notable progress, however, there remains a strong feeling among developing countries and critical scholarship that the IPCC process and knowledge are skewed in favour of the North and that more can be done to enhance the involvement and contribution of developing countries (Pasgaard et al. While existing scholarship has done a lot to indicate the various ways in which the IPCC process raises questions of fairness, the lack of explicit attention to procedural justice means that there is still no clear framework for understanding and analysing procedural fairness in the IPCC. Critical commentary on the IPCC and calls for reforms which emanate from casual observation and socio-political analysis have important intellectual and practical utility.

However, without a clear framework for conceptualizing and evaluating the procedural justice of the IPCC, it will be difficult to tackle the problem systematically and to measure progress.) suggests that IPCC reports affect national policy, constructions of climate equity and donor-driven research in India.Occupying its commanding position as the world’s most authoritative voice on climate science, the IPCC has important “symbolic power” (Hughes ) and far-reaching influence in shaping the tenor, urgency and political decisions of climate change.It is curious, therefore, that there is hardly any literature that has analysed the IPCC explicitly and distinctly through the lens of procedural justice, defined as the fairness, or at least perceived fairness, of the structures and procedures used in decision-making (Rawls ).Furthermore, it is well-known that developing countries have, since the creation of the IPCC in 1989, raised justice-related concerns expressed mostly in their complaint about lack of opportunity and capacity to facilitate their effective representation and contribution (cf. For its part, the IPCC has long recognized and sought to address issues of unfairness in their process even though these are often cast in the language of legitimacy and transparency rather than procedural justice.I demonstrate how, to what end, and with what effects questions of justice and procedural fairness matter in the IPCC work.Then, with the aim to advance crtical research, policy and practice on this important subject, I draw on scholarship from social psychology and legal procedures along with socio-political literature on the IPCC, to develop a six-component framework for evaluating procedural fairness in the IPCC.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a unique international scientific organization which plays a pivotal role in deciding international and national climate policies.Reflecting its preeminent authority to frame climate change and how it is tackled (or not), the IPCC has attracted plenty of close attention from both academic and policy commentators, with questions of participation, integrity of procedures, trust, legitimacy and accountability receiving considerable attention (Beck ).In the final selection section, I provide a brief discussion of the framework before drawing some concluding remarks.One reason for the near total silence on procedural justice by IPCC literature may lie in the implicit notion that it is inappropriate to apply the concept of justice to the IPCC since there are no direct distributional consequences of IPCC reports.


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