Mapping the narrative positions of new political groups under the UNFCCC

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Since 2009, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) regime has seen the emergence of several new political groups. This article analyses how the new political groups are positioning themselves in relation to the key UNFCCC principles (the North–South divide and ‘common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities’, CBDR/ RC). Drawing on original data, including official statements and submissions, observations at COP 17, COP 18, COP 19, and interviews with delegates, the article analyses the BASIC group (Brazil, South Africa, India and China), the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), the Cartagena Dialogue for Progressive Action (CD), the Durban Alliance (DA), the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC), and the Association of Independent Latin American and Caribbean States (AILAC). Modelled after Hendrik Wagenaar’s approach to narrative policy analysis, the article draws a map of narrative positions based on the North–South and new CBDR/RC divisions. This framework reveals the embeddedness of narratives in practice as they unfold in the formation of new political groups. CVF, CD, DA and AILAC align on a narrative of ‘shared responsibility across the North–South divide’. This meta-narrative challenges the hitherto dominant notion of CBDR/RC, which BASIC and LMDC defend through a meta-narrative of ‘differentiated responsibility upholding the North–South divide’.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science


  • governance, institutional framework, international negotiations, negotiating capacity/process, North–South, UNFCCC
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-766
JournalClimate Policy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

First Published online, 17 Oct 2014