These include the following: (1) formal rules about representation and participation; (2) formal rules about governance and management structure; (3) formal rules relating to decision-making processes; (4) formal rules on fair treatment of authors; (5) informal quality of decision-making rules by authorities; and (6) informal quality of the interactional environment.Systematic assessment is required to validate the six-component procedural justice model and to reveal existing strengths of, and areas for improvements for, the IPCC procedure.
In the final selection section, I provide a brief discussion of the framework before drawing some concluding remarks.
One reason for the near total silence on procedural justice by IPCC literature may lie in the implicit notion that it is inappropriate to apply the concept of justice to the IPCC since there are no direct distributional consequences of IPCC reports.
In this frame, it could even be suggested—some developed country scientists have in fact voiced this view—that a concern for justice (for example, regarding an equitable North-South representation) could undermine the goal of producing robust IPCC science. There are at least four grounds to demonstrate that a concern for procedural justice in the IPCC is not only valid but in fact urgently warranted.
First, as already indicated, it is now abundantly evident from existing literature that while the IPCC reports are not governance instruments in themselves, per se, they have significant ability to influence climate policy in justice-enhancing or constraining ways (Corbera et al.
) suggests that IPCC reports affect national policy, constructions of climate equity and donor-driven research in India.
Occupying its commanding position as the world’s most authoritative voice on climate science, the IPCC has important “symbolic power” (Hughes ) and far-reaching influence in shaping the tenor, urgency and political decisions of climate change.
These have included notable efforts to increase the representation of authors from developing countries, balancing the constitution of Coordinating Lead Authors, expanding the work on adaptation, and widening the remit of the chapters to deal with equity and sustainable development (Najam et al. Despite notable progress, however, there remains a strong feeling among developing countries and critical scholarship that the IPCC process and knowledge are skewed in favour of the North and that more can be done to enhance the involvement and contribution of developing countries (Pasgaard et al. While existing scholarship has done a lot to indicate the various ways in which the IPCC process raises questions of fairness, the lack of explicit attention to procedural justice means that there is still no clear framework for understanding and analysing procedural fairness in the IPCC. Critical commentary on the IPCC and calls for reforms which emanate from casual observation and socio-political analysis have important intellectual and practical utility.
However, without a clear framework for conceptualizing and evaluating the procedural justice of the IPCC, it will be difficult to tackle the problem systematically and to measure progress.
Critical IPCC scholarship from science and technology studies (STS), political science, geography and sociology highlight among other issues, geographical imbalance of authors in favour of developed countries (Bjurström and Polk ).
These issues and several of the above-cited literature raise salient questions about the procedural fairness of the IPCC process, especially in the context of North-South climate justice.