How transformative are international environmental agreements? Evaluating the potential of the UNFCCC and UNCCD from an ecofeminist perspective
Ecofeminists have long exposed the gendered character of human progress and its destructive impact on social and environmental commons. They contend that mainstream strategies responding to environmental crises reaffirm the subordination of women and nonhuman nature, while also reinforcing the power structures that sustain a white, heteronormative and masculine hegemony. While there is significant ecofeminist scholarship in gender and environment studies, there is little research to date which deconstructs international environmental law in order to explore the extent to which it maintains, reinforces or transforms understandings about human/nonhuman connections and their gendered nature. This article contributes to broader ecofeminist scholarship by synthesising Karen Warren’s ecofeminist ethics into an analytical framework through which to analyse international environmental law. The article develops an original analysis of how transformational international legal regimes have been in shaping the international community’s view of the environment and human/non-human interconnections. Comparing the often-ignored UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) 1994, as well as the more (in)famous UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 1992, the author evaluates to what extent these regimes engage with and respond to the underlying institutional, structural, social, and conceptual frameworks that contribute to the continued degradation of the environment. The author concludes that while both regimes have transformative potential, they both continue to affirm an ideological perspective that disembeds humanity from the environment, while at the same time commodifying nature in order to protect it.
open access journal
Citation : Wilkinson Cross, K. (2018) How transformative are international environmental agreements? Evaluating the potential of the UNFCCC and UNCCD from an ecofeminist perspective. Denning Law Journal,
Research Institute : Institute for Evidence-Based Law Reform (IELR)
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Department of Law