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WIREs Clim Change
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Latin America in the climate change negotiations: Exploring the AILAC and ALBA coalitions

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Latin American nations and negotiators have long been prominent actors in the United Nations climate change negotiations, but for many years, no distinctively Latin American coalition existed in that process. Since 2009, however, two Latin American coalitions have emerged—the “Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas” (ALBA), which came to the fore during the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference (COP‐15), and the “Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean” (AILAC), which was launched at the 2012 Doha Climate Conference (COP‐18). These two groups propose very different approaches for Latin American engagement on climate change, largely corresponding to their broader political and economic aspirations for the continent. Although ALBA reflects a Bolivarian vision of regional solidarity that rejects U.S.‐led neoliberalism, AILAC is more conciliatory toward the North, echoing a more outward‐looking vision of hemispheric unity. In line with these different underlying visions, the two groups have adopted contrasting positions and forms of engagement with the negotiations, with differing degrees of impact and success. AILAC now seems to be emerging as the stronger coalition, with its conciliatory approach better aligned with the current positive tone of the international negotiations. In contrast, internal contradictions within ALBA's narrative on climate change, along with political upheavals experienced by some of its key members, are weakening that group's cohesion. Theories of regionalism, combined with insights from the existing literature and some empirical analysis, help to illuminate these developments, enriching our understanding of international climate politics more broadly.

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  • Policy and Governance > International Policy Framework
Latin American participation in negotiating coalitions at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP‐21) Sources: Same as those in Table , also UNFCCC secretariat website https://unfccc.int/process/parties‐non‐party‐stakeholders/parties/party‐groupings; Blaxekjær and Nielsen (); and ENB reports available at http://enb.iisd.org/process/climate_atm.htm
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