The chapter starts by telling the story of an Indian woman who spoke up during a question and answer event with the Clean Development Mechanism; She worked as a waste picker and argued that CDM board approving waste incineration projects would result in, not just her, but a large multitude of people who work in waste to lose their jobs and subsequently their incomes. The argument being made in this chapter is that the grant made to support transnational advocacy networks has not expressed the variety of rights conflicts that occur in international systems. The issue discussed in this chapter is the ability or lack of ability for vulnerable groups of people to increase their wealth and resources in international climate change policy. It will look at the intervention of three specific advocacy networks: gender equality advocates, Indigenous Peoples, and waste pickers. These three groups, although different in many ways, have all attempted to gain rights in the U.N. as a way to begin to deal with types of marginalization and inequality faced by their group. While looking at these groups four types of struggles will be discussed: recognition, representation, capabilities, and extended rights.
Regime rights are defined as privileges for certain groups that allow for particular actions and results, whilst restricting others, and that extend from an international treaty of other agreement. Gender equality and Indigenous People networks have given a large part of their attention to achieving recognition, and all three groups have put in effort toward increasing visibility of their groups, their rights and their viewpoints.
Mobilizations have answered to two of the underlying worries of marginalization. First, due to the different roles in the household division of labor, women are impacted to a larger degree by climate change in comparison to men. Second, in order to respond more effectively, equality of the genders is necessary in representation in the UNFCCC and in policies that go beyond this regime to answer to different form of inequality. Gender equality groups have made some advancement in getting the regime to acknowledge the right to gender equality and the disproportionate vulnerability of women, and have made small strides in growing the representation of women in the climate regime.
Indigenous Peoples advocacy networks have three major concerns. First, because they are so marginalized the indigenous people endure much larger impacts of climate change in comparison to other groups and they often have less access to resources to deal with the changes. Second, they argue that the effects of climate change mitigation strategies have led indigenous peoples to move from their territories. Lastly, they have argued that the earth is living and should have rights that are recognized in the climate regime. Indigenous people’s organization has also argued that many federal and local governments would not preserve the rights of their people unless there was an international framework that incentivized and mandated them to do so. A vast majority of Indigenous peoples network rights have been in the form of recognition. There hasn’t been much of a move forward made in terms of representation, capability or extended rights.
The transnational waste picker network has been able to build their movement through climate change negotiations. Unlike other groups, waste pickers have remained united in negotiations; even though they may not all agree on strategies and goals. Strategies that GAWA has undertaken within negotiations can be split up into three categories. First, they attempted to bring about further recognition of how climate change policy is gradually threatening waste picker’s means of securing the necessities of life. Second, GAWA has tried to influence the Green Climate Fund to obtain more funds for waste picker organizations, and as a result strengthening extended rights. Lastly, has paid particular attention to securing extended rights for waste pickers through reform of the CDM’s waste methodology.
In the case studies discussed in this chapter most rights gains have been in the form of recognition. Recognizing certain rights has been an easy way to validate and recognize the regime’s actions as an answer to the networks efforts, without actually having to alter their procedures. Although recognition may not seem like a impactful gain, it can have an impact for groups and can lend assistance for future rights gains internationally.
The point of this reading was to get us to comprehend the ways that advocacy networks have become involved in the international climate regime to challenge the different types of marginalization and inequality associated with climate injustice. This chapter conveys that the influence of small climate justice groups has been insignificant and hasn’t had much of an effect on the central relations of inequality and power, but the three networks discussed have, to some extent, made improvements toward greater climate justice, which could likely have a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable and marginalized people.