Negotiator Briefs on Cognition and Climate Change

Welcome to the Negotiator Briefs on Cognition and Climate Change! The series builds on ongoing research on the role of cognition in the global climate change negotiations, and offers insights specifically targeted to the current needs and challenges of participants in the global climate change negotiations – diplomats, climate policy experts, members of the UNFCCC Secretariat, representatives of non-governmental organizations and stakeholders, climate scientists and domestic policy-makers. Merging insights about the working of the mind and international relations, the CCC Briefs seek to support political actors in their efforts to understand and effectively navigate their complex political and negotiation environment.

The CCC Briefs are intended to be conversation starters. We hope they will give rise to questions, ideas, and new kinds of conversations. Please do not hesitate to be in touch, make suggestions or ask for advice. All feedback should be directed to Dr. Manjana Milkoreit, mmilkore[at]

CCC Brief No. 5
What is Power in the Global Climate Negotiations?
Dr. Manjana Milkoreit
What does it mean to be powerful in the UNFCCC process and who holds the most power? Different definitions of power can result in very different assessments, leading and possibly misleading the analyst to pay attention to certain actors and developments, while ignoring others. Departing from the usual data-driven approach of the CCC Briefs, Brief No. 5 will offer a short conceptual introduction to power theory in the climate change context at the global scale.

Downloadable copy of “CCC Brief No. 5”

CCC Brief No. 4
Global power structures – (How) do they matter?
Dr. Manjana Milkoreit
Power is distributed unevenly in the international system. For some, this statement captures an unchangeable truth, is a source of scholarly debate, or is a major cause of injustice. For some, it is a reason – maybe the reason – why the climate negotiations are stuck. CCC Brief No. 4 explores the relevance of global power structures for the climate negotiations with a focus on major topics discussed at COP 19.

Downloadable copy of “CCC Brief No. 4”

CCC Brief No. 3
Rationality and Ethics – Are you a consequentialist?
Dr. Manjana Milkoreit
This COP 19 issue of the CCC Briefs uses the current negotiation context and events here in Warsaw to explore the link between rationality and ethical thinking in the climate negotiations under the UNFCCC. The last issue of this series outlined that rationality can be understood as weighing the costs and benefits of various paths of climate action. It argued that depending on the types of climate-related costs a person is concerned about, they can use very different ethical frameworks. In Brief No. 3 I add an important emotional dimension to the relationship between rationality and moral judgment.

Downloadable copy of “CCC Brief No. 3”

CCC Brief No. 2
Rationality, Risk Perceptions and Risk Hierarchies
Dr. Manjana Milkoreit
This is the first of three CCC Briefs dealing with issues related to rationality. This Brief speaks about risk perceptions and risk hierarchies, explaining what it means to be rational when it comes to multilateral cooperation on climate change. It offers an analyses of how negotiators think in particular about the expected costs of climate change and climate policy. The three Briefs taken together will assess to what extent climate negotiators do in fact think and decide rationally, and what else is going on in their minds when considering options for global climate governance.

Downloadable copy of “CCC Brief No. 2”

CCC Brief No. 1
A Different Take on the Problem
Dr. Manjana Milkoreit
This introduction to the series outlines what the CCC Briefs will be about, why they are important and whom they are for. It mentions some of the topics the series is going to address and lays out what you can expect to learn.

Downloadable copy of “CCC Brief No. 1”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter