Climate justice can be advanced by focusing on trust

Climate justice can be advanced by focusing on trust ...

With our experience working in policy making arenas, international negotiations, and with local and Indigenous communities affected by environmental change, we know that relationships and building trust matter when it comes to shaping the process and outcome of negotiations. Trust is a concept and practice studied in many disciplines. It is a collective attribute that facilitates shared action despite differing positions, information and risk tolerance. Over time, trust emerges through interactions among individuals, communities, and organizations that build the relationships and cooperation needed to transform problems into solutions. While it is common to talk about distrust in international relations and the distrust of climate science, research and government often neglect the importance of trust in the relationships of those engaging in negotiations over global climate change mitigation strategies. Ensuring equitable solutions requires trust in governing bodies. As an example, the Conferences of Parties for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) has been beset with questions of credibility and legitimacy as a governing body. As a result, communities, civil society groups, and even businesses and governments question whether they can trust its processes to address the inequalities and urgency of the climate threat. The way in which participants interact and relationships form is dictated by the ways in which they are categorized into broad groupings, such as parties, non-parties, and interest-based constituency groups. In the past, this has limited the development of shared interests in addressing climate change. Climate change can be solved by the contribution of Indigenous Peoples. Because international treaties are negotiated by nation-states, the contributions of Indigenous Peoples are often overlooked. When it comes to climate change, deep collaboration is needed to achieve success. Indigenous Peoples have historically faced constraints in centering their needs, experiences, and knowledge relevant to the decisions being made on their behalf. They were not fully included in past negotiations or perhaps only symbolically included, which resulted in a lack of trust or the development of a mutual relationship in which the needs of all parties could be addressed in the face of the current crisis. While groups and communities directly impacted by climate change are engaging in international climate talks, enhancing the legitimacy and credibility of organizations like the UNFCCC is unlikely in the absence of trust. In practice, this means that we need to strengthen long-term relationships among a larger group of people. It is hard work because it often goes against the norm of international negotiations. We need transformational relationships in which the paradigm, hierarchy, and diversity are changed so that there is mutual trust in the beliefs, standing, and interests of all parties. This means all affected communities are included. Reducing barriers to participation is only one of the ways in which to do so. By building transformational relationships, leaders and representatives demonstrate respect for the diverse approaches and experiences of all participants in climate governance, which are inherent in the complex action and problem solving necessary for addressing climate change One way to change global governance is to focus on trust. Christopher Paul is an assistant professor of public administration at North Carolina Central University. There is a book called "Wcc.712."

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