Tuesday, 9 July 2013

2°C and the geographies of truth and power in Copenhagen, 2009

I have a post over at the Merton Stone blog of the 3S Research Group introducing a new paper of mine in Geoforum, which is titled Boundary spaces: science, politics and the epistemic geographies of climate change in Copenhagen, 2009.

Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters
The paper explores some of the science-policy debates which played-out in the run up to the ill-fated international climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009. I engage with literatures on boundary-organisations, -objects and -work, as well as literature on organisational space to develop the notion of 'boundary spaces'. I basically try to argue that theories of formal boundary organisations are insufficient to capture the complex geographies by which scientific knowledge is negotiated and related to political decisionmaking. By these "complex geographies", I mean the diverse physical and discursive settings where knowledge is constructed and contested, often under certain guiding assumptions about how 'knowledge' and 'action' are related.

As I explain in the blog post, much of the debate in Copenhagen ended up revolving around the 2-degrees C temperature rise target. For some other recent commentary on the target, see Oliver Geden's piece in the Guardian here, and Mike Hulme's contribution to a discussion of the target in Climate change, justice and sustainability: linking climate and development policy.

In addition to finalising my PhD thesis, I'm also currently working on a book chapter which will explore the politics of emissions accounting at the science-policy interface in India. The more I have explored this topic, the more it has become another interesting episode in the complex social life of the 2-degrees target.

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