Article published in:Environmental Argumentation
Edited by Marcin Lewiński and Mehmet Ali Üzelgün
[Journal of Argumentation in Context 8:1] 2019
► pp. 65–90
The 2015 Paris Climate Conference
Arguing for the fragile consensus in global multilateral diplomacy
The paper applies argumentative discourse analysis to a corpus of official statements made by key players (USA, EU, China, India, etc.) at the opening of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. The chief goal is to reveal the underlying structure of practical arguments and values legitimising the global climate change policy-making. The paper investigates which of the elements of practical arguments were common and which were contested by various players. One important conclusion is that a complex, multilateral deal such as the 2015 Paris Agreement is based on a fragile consensus. This consensus can be precisely described in terms of the key premises of practical arguments that various players share (mostly: description of current circumstances and future goals) and the premises they still discuss but prefer not to prioritise (value hierarchies or precise measures). It thus provides an insight into how a fragile consensus over goals may lead to a multilateral agreement through argumentative processes.
Keywords: climate change discourse, COP21, environmental argumentation, Paris Climate Agreement, polylogue, practical argumentation
Published online: 14 February 2019
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