Assessing the standard of legitimacy in the United Nations climate change regime through a compensatory constitutionalism lens
Topf Aguiar De Medeiros, Dagmar Susanne
The thesis assesses the standard of legitimacy in the United Nations climate change regime through a compensatory constitutionalism lens. The objective of the research undertaken is to recast the narrative surrounding the lack of political will to address climate change into a more constructive framework of identifying legitimacy strengths and deficits. In order to achieve this objective the thesis places legitimacy, climate change, and constitutionalism at an intellectual crossroads. A key aspect of this is the identification of constitutionalism as a set of shared values amongst states parties which can be used as indicators of legitimacy. This is significant because the cumulative, indivisible, urgent, and global characteristics of the issue of climate change emphasise the need for the United Nations climate change regime to be underpinned by a high standard of legitimacy. For the regime to successfully engage states parties in policy-making at the global level a high standard of legitimacy is essential. In particular the regime must succeed in casting a productive balance between the need for the exercise of authority both at a global and a domestic level. This thesis therefore constructs an analytical framework around three formal and three material features of constitutionalism which it applies to the treaty provisions of the United Nations climate change regime as objective standards of measurement through which to assess states parties’ perception of the regime’s standard of legitimacy.