Globalizing the climate. Climatizing the world

Edouard Morena

In this thematic Notes From The Field, Edouard Morena of CNRS/LADYSS describes a collaborative ethnographic project centring around the COP21 climate talks in Paris, December 2015.


The 21st Conference of the Parties to the Climate convention (COP21) in Paris (2015) is commonly presented as a historic last chance to set the world on a course that prevents catastrophic climate change. By bringing together negotiators, scientists, journalists and representatives of global civil society, it also constitutes a privileged vantage point – an ‘emblematic instance’ – for the study of global environmental governance ‘in the making’.

In focusing almost exclusively on the multilateral negotiations, the bulk of current research on climate governance tends to lose sight of the ‘bigger picture’ of what is at stake in climate debates. Climate negotiations address a growing number of issues, from debates about development, energy and forests, to biodiversity, equity and urban planning. In turn, climate conferences gather a wide array of actors from different backgrounds that carry distinctive understandings of the problem, its causes and possible solutions. This points to a transformation of global debates involving both a ‘globalisation of the climate question’ and a ‘climatisation of the world’. Continue reading “Globalizing the climate. Climatizing the world”