published on Matthias Middell (ed.), The Routledge handbook of transregional studies, London: Routledge
Since the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988, the relationship between climate research, politics, and public awareness of climate change issues has reached a new level of global interlacing. During the last 20 years, decision-making processes and negotiations to address climate change have become highly dependent on scientific input. Policy-makers have increasingly sought legitimacy for their decisions through evidence-based frameworks. The increasing dependence on scientific knowledge has led to new accountability-related demands to assess how knowledge on climate change is actually generated and applied. It is a fact that climate negotiations are framed by scientific knowledge that is mainly generated in the North. What are the factors, then, that inhibit knowledge generation in other world regions? What consequences does the hegemony of the North have in terms of the overall quality of the generated knowledge, in terms of the effectiveness of the implementation of climate resolutions, and in terms of the possible failure to acknowledge the local contexts of the majority of the Earth’s population? And how does this unequal knowledge generation actually empower regions, in the sense of mobilizing regional identities for or against advances in global climate negotiations? The overall question is how a transregional perspective might provide insights into how regions and regional identities can redirect climate change research and reconceptualize climate negotiations to accentuate co-benefits and debar trade-offs not only at the regional but also at the global scale. The answers to this question will be derived from the analysis of processes regarding the works of the IPCC as well as of processes characterizing climate change negotiations.