Helina Bischoff, MA

MA Thesis

South Africa's Shifting Identity: Categorisation and Strategy in the Climate Change Negotiations

South Africa has occupied several roles in the international climate change regime, from being classified as a developed country before 1994, to actively bridging the gap between the positions of developing and developed countries as a Middle Power during the implementation period of the Kyoto Protocol and also explicitly identifying itself as a developing country in the negotiations surrounding a post-Kyoto agreement. The argument advanced in the first section of this paper is that these representations projected by South African leadership are strategic in nature and help the government achieve certain aims in the international climate negotiations. In the second part of this paper, an example of how the South African government categorises itself as a developing country will be explored through the adaptation measures as set out in the South African National Climate Change Green Paper. Since the category of developing country is constructed in a particular way in international climate change politics, the ways in which the South African government appeals to the roles and responsibilities as set out by the two most prominent institutions in international climate change regime, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), will be considered.