Norms and Diversity in Climate Change

4.1. Climate change and normativity

4.1.1. Normativity and resilience

Contemporary climate change can be placed in the series of major axial transformations provided by Jaspers-Lambert. The great forms of human culture provide “mastery and accomplishment”, but this “for better or for worse from a normative point of view” ([LAM 14], p.27). Among these great transformations, some are corrections to earlier conceptions. Thus, one of the previous major transitions was the appearance of sacrificial societies, then another axial transition, that of religions of the Book, introduced moderation into sacrifice, the Angel stopping the stabbing of Abraham, for example. In the same way, the Industrial Revolution and contemporary climate change have followed on logically from each other. Before the Industrial Revolution, the use of coal was only sporadic, most often when a period of extreme cold necessitated recourse to exceptional means, such as burning coal itself. The massive use of fossil fuels was one of the main characteristics of the Industrial Revolution, and this is challenged by contemporary climate change due to the disruption of the climate resulting from the overabundant emissions from greenhouse gases.

Are these major cultural transitions associated with improvements in resilience? Nothing could be less certain. The nature of the consequences being suffered is changing: the current climate and natural events are being replaced by the vagaries of a productive economy and social violence between human groups. The conception of great cultural transition aggregates transitions in very different contexts and times: transition III/IV concerns that of pre-Colombian civilizations in South America and that of Constantine’s conversion. These transitions are only partial, since we can still be in contact and dialogue today with representatives of the great cultural systems of anatomically modern humans, part of Jaspers-Lambert’s nomenclature.

These major cultural systems bring about “mastery and accomplishment” ([LAM 14], p.27), while their greater capacity for resilience undoubtedly distinguishes them from cultural systems that have been much more evanescent. They possess a capacity to produce appropriate norms in new situations, leading to the definition of system normativity.

The distinction between normativity* and the sharing of the normal and the pathological comes from a medicine of critical situations, theorized by Georges Canguilhem [CAN 92]. Mid-20th Century medicine was able to improve survival rates of people who had experienced a situation otherwise “normally” leading to death, for example, survival after a very significant drop in body temperature. The survival of people accidentally falling into frozen lakes with body temperatures far from normal indicates that the critical boundary was not established from a central value of a Gaussian distribution, but rather that between the fact that the system (here, the person's body) retains, or does not, a normativity, i.e. the capacity to produce operating norms under degraded conditions. This notion of system normativity enriches the concept of resilience*, which has taken a central place in approaches to climate change adaptation. Normativity must ensure continuity of operations after a random shock, or in a deteriorated situation. This notion of system normativity can be applied to various organized groups and is the main safety dimension for a bionic prosthesis or an autonomous vehicle. For example, if a vehicle no longer receives satellite location information, normativity is based on a safe and effective technological alternative to this signal loss.

How do large cultural groups behave in a transition phase? These are, in a way, episodes of “breakdown” in system normativity. A new example of this is provided by the interminable episodes of negotiations on climate change that we are experiencing. The first Kyoto Protocol proved to be insufficient, then a new approach took shape with the Paris Agreements in 2015. However, their implementation has since been undermined by counter-reactions, such as the arson attacks on the Amazon rainforest, or initiatives to defend energy production using processes that are high emitters of greenhouse gases, such as coal-fired plants.

4.1.2. Norms and the environment

An initial situation still often enshrined in mining rights is that of “res nullius” for the environment. The only operative norm is a criterion of distributive justice, affecting through sharing actions the revenues to one of more agents.

Ownership is the choice of the simplest possible form of governance: a part of the environment is allocated to an owner who is the custodian. The owner can transfer this right and therefore has an interest in managing the property well to increase the transfer value.

Random, accidental situations tend to call for ex post solutions linked to the notion of responsibility. These are the ones, for example, that have been deployed to prevent and combat oil spills: financial guarantees are required for each maritime transport of oil, and joint compensation funds have been set up, such as the IOPC fund. In this case, the custodians are rather organizations: firms, mutual maritime insurance companies and local authorities, which must carry out damage repair and take preventive measures, in the occurrence of oil spills.

Another way of looking at an environmental custodian is through the lens of heritage. For example, an international convention recognizes the heritage of the Antarctic continent for a period of 50 years. The global convention sets the rules and must provide the conditions for the proper management of this heritage to be passed onto future generations. In this case, the custodian is rather a global agency. The most decentralized solutions, which rely on a very large number of custodians, are those based on ownership, the intermediate situations are based on organization and, finally, the notion of heritage is the most centralized in the guardianship of the environment.

The production of various norms, on a voluntary or binding basis, is important in the area of climate change. However, the situation is rather one of the emergence of litigation in legal frameworks established prior to the provisions specific to climate change itself. The contexts in which new tensions arise from the integration by actors of the climate change dimension are taking place to cover practically all types of environment.

Let us take the example of the different levels of vegetation, starting from the highest areas such as Mont Blanc. This is a GLOF site; the whole massif is located in the municipal territory of Saint-Gervais. Work is underway to drain the pockets of water under the Tête Rousse glacier, the one that caused the 1892 destruction. The high mountains are too crowded, and local arrangements are being made to cope with this influx. Climate change is of a global nature; it gives rise to phenomena of an unusual class of severity, supported mainly by an organization, namely a municipality in the case of this site with a GLOF.

Haiti represents an interesting situation of uneven relief because of a particular institutional history, that of a Republic based on the legal principles of the French Revolution. The victory of the Haitian army over Napoleonic troops preserved the original legal system of 1789, i.e. the abolitions of common goods proper to revolutionary law did not undergo the reforms introduced by Napoleonic law. Studies on vulnerability and the level of population resilience to climate change classify Haiti among the countries where resilience is very low and vulnerability is very high. The intermediate institutional dimension (firms, local authorities) is scarce, which is in line with the legal requirements of the years of the French Revolution. Extreme poverty leads to destructive levels of environmental extraction [RUO 15]. Direct management by global agencies, which is important in the case of Haiti, is unsatisfactory. This combination of the highly decentralized, individual self-help regime of Haitian citizens and the highly centralized UN mandate on security management is associated with the worst situations in terms of resilience and sustainable development.

The third example is that of farmers in Northern Benin [YEG 14], 98% of whom perceive the existence of climate change, and whose adaptation strategies are improved by belonging to an agricultural organization that transmits know-how and professional experience.

The last case is the (historical) flooded polder in the Dordrecht region of the Netherlands. The Biesbosch National Park is the result of a historical flooding in the 15th Century, that of the night of St. Elizabeth. The catastrophic event resulted in the salvaging of an anthropized territory, which was then managed as a heritage site, in the sense of Calabresi's typology: property, responsability and heritage.

Climate change law is largely non-existent, as evidenced by the complete absence of rules on ill-intentioned maneuvers, on the questions of compensation for damage suffered, on the fate of those displaced for climatic reasons. The climate change law cannot simply be the result of the simple extension of one of the known approaches to environmental law, and raises the question of the quality of the new standards to be created.

4.1.3. History of climate change policy

The first climate conference was organized in Geneva in 1979, at the initiative of scientists. Observation of the globe had been made possible by the use of artificial satellites, and a global climate study could be based on new forms of data collection. This conference was organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which was founded in the mid-19th Century.

Even on the political side, these beginnings introduced by a scientific approach did not initially lead to partisan divisions. Smog episodes in major European and American cities have led to more political processes, such as consensual political formation in California by elected officials to combat air pollution, while road infrastructure development has been managed without political control by planning engineers who rejected any responsibility for the serious public health problems resulting from smog episodes. Caution was then on the side of scientists, whereas the most common situation was that of engineering projects that neglected the risks induced by their achievements. Elected politicians were then in the ungrateful role of the counter-power or, on the contrary, supported engineers in a common technocratic vision.

In 1988, the WMO and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) established the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The first IPCC report led to the establishment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), signed at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. This framework agreement was the basis for subsequent negotiations, which were held annually in a Conference of the Parties (COP). A secretariat of the Framework Convention was established in Bonn, Germany. This framework convention was ratified by all countries, including the United States, represented by President Bush Sr. The objective of the Framework Convention was to stabilize “greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that prevents dangerous anthropogenic disturbance”, but without much precision on the means to be used to achieve it, or a roadmap specifying a timetable for action. Complex negotiations led to a compromise, that of COP 3 held in Kyoto in 1997. All countries were required to reconcile sustainable development and the fight against climate change. Only the industrialized countries known as Annex I countries quantified targets, for an average overall reduction of 5.2%. Despite the very modest quantified commitments made in Kyoto, Georges W. Bush Jr. decided to withdraw the United States’ signature from the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. This humiliating situation culminated in the failure of the COP meeting in Copenhagen in 2009 that we can interpret as the success of the climate skeptic campaign. A new framework was obtained at the Paris Agreements in 2015, ratified by 195 countries. This framework is based on voluntary commitments from each country, promising that a transparency framework must make it possible to evaluate. These international community efforts were attacked again by the Trump administration in June 2017, but this did not lead to a contagion effect of defection from the Paris Agreements. However, the Paris Agreements do not prevent commercial initiatives favoring processes that are high emitters of greenhouse gases, such as those in favor of coal.

The common framework now accepted is based on voluntary commitments, resilience building and sustainable development. The notion of sustainable development for climate change is only enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol. It was brought to the forefront in the United Nations program for the period between 2015 and 2030, which sets Sustainable Development Goals.

The initial text from the 1992 Earth Summit left some ambiguity concerning the difference between an old conception of development and economic growth and that of sustainable development. This paved the way for an investment bank financing a coal-fired power plant in Africa (the most carbon-intensive energy choice), even though carbon-free technologies are offered in a more economically advantageous way. Older technologies are well known, and investors do as they are used to, as their conception of development has not changed since the Soviet planning era.

4.1.4. Mitigation and adaptation

The climate change adaptation dimension was introduced later than the mitigation dimension, i.e. the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations. The 2001 decision by the United States to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol in order to develop coal, gas and hydrocarbons extraction made the international community aware that mitigation efforts alone would not be sufficient to avoid major impacts of climate change [GAM 14]. The theme of adaptation was associated with the interests of the southern countries, which are more affected by the consequences of climate change. COP 7 in Marrakech set up the first adaptation funds for the southern countries. The COPs from COP 10 in Buenos Aires highlighted a “balanced” approach between mitigation and adaptation. The Cancun Agreement (COP 16) in 2010 established a Green Climate Fund and provided a framework for adaptation, technical assistance and information sharing. A target of $100 billion per year of investment in green finance is set for 2020, based on a World Bank report estimating the cost of adaptation for southern countries at $100 billion per year. The adaptation dimension before the Paris Agreements was therefore mainly limited to the establishment of a green adaptation finance, based on the “philanthropic” model of development aid [GAM 14].

Losses and damages resulting from climate change are not compensated as such in the state of the contemporary normative framework. Contemporary green financing has been defined as assistance for mitigation and adaptation, not as a reimbursement on past emissions, or as an insurance-type mechanism specific to climate change.

Insurance schemes for major natural risks exist, but only cover certain countries or regions, compensating only for events that have occurred. There is no specific spatial solidarity: if dikes are broken, this can make insurance schemes work when they exist, and if they need to be raised, community leaders should seek internal (the contribution of inhabitants) and external (funds for assistance that can be private, public, national, bilateral or multilateral) funding. Climate change law in its current state is only an inorganized set of transferts of responsability at all levels: households, organizations (firms or local authorities) and States.

In relation to Calabresi’s typology of environmental rights, what can a law of accountability mean? It means a multi-level law, where everyone would be guardians of the environment. For example, in forest management, there are owners who may be required to clear bushes as well as guards who are responsible for detecting the start of fires and informing tourists of the danger of lighting a cigarette and the forces that can be mobilized to fight fires.

There are major risks specific to climate change, which raises the problem of financing a prevention policy and compensation for displaced persons and inhabitants in areas that are too exposed. It is spatial and intergenerational solidarity that provides the criticisms and marks the limits of this universal consensual framework. Europe is at an average altitude of about 500 meters, but some Europeans live below sea level and others below a glacier that creates pockets of water that can discharge suddenly. The problem of solidarity is then spatial: the territories are very unequally concerned by adaptation to climate change, whether in the North or in the South. In Calabresi’s typology, we are at the intermediate level, but there are no accountability and solidarity mechanisms to complement this right of responsibility.

The two dimensions of climate justice are those of mitigation and intergenerational solidarity and those of spatial solidarity in adaptation. The States own the subsoil; it is their responsibility to leave the carbon in the soil: this claim of a patrimonialization of fossil energies is expressed by Greta Thunberg [THU 19]. This critical discourse, however, claims a legal basis for accountability but focuses on strengthening one of the resources of environmental law, that of patrimonialization in Calabresi’s classification.

System normativity in the fight against climate change is still under construction. The final state of the energy and ecological transition is that of the patrimonialization of fossil fuels (which is far from being the case), an exit from the victim-pays principle (the debate on environmental taxation is that of the acceptance of a polluter-pays principle, which marks a change with regard to the previous victim-pays situation) and an improvement in overall reactivity, i.e. a better governance of environmental policies (here too, the margin for progress seems important).

4.2. Normativity and diversity

4.2.1. Diversity: a table of theoretical insights

Contemporary theories of cultural diversity are an extension of climate theories that played an important role before the promotion of sociological theories with social processes independent of a natural environment. Broadly speaking, old climate theories are more political, seeking to take into account the diversity of norms in the world (hard law and soft law combined), while diversity theories distinguish between a political level (or hard law) and an intermediate, organizational level (or soft law based on voluntary commitments by organizations).

These theories of diversity are nowadays mobilized by the field of organizational theories, in the search for an explanation of the role of the various forms of diversity in the functioning of organizations. In economic and management science studies, the field of organization covers all forms of organization between public agencies that have legislative and regulatory powers and individuals who have no capacity to do so. These organized forms (firms, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, hospitals and universities, associations, foundations) have at most some prerogatives to form a shared culture within the organization, which may constitute a soft law shared by many organizations, compared to the hard law of public agencies.

Diversity is a recently introduced theme. It covers all forms of heterogeneity of preferences and is applied to issues as diverse as gender and parity, disabilities, sexual orientation, religion and culture. Social law in France lists 23 discrimination criteria1 that constitute sub-themes for diversity, while employment discrimination statistics indicate a ranking of the three main causes of discrimination in France: first, age; second, physical appearance; third, being a mother with children.

We can distinguish positive theories from diversity theories of discrimination where the aim is to explain why discriminatory practices exist. Positive theories are those that highlight, for example, the freedom of movement for people with disabilities: without such arrangements, the right to mobility for these people is an empty word. Negative freedoms are those announced by fundamental rights, and the accounting of these fundamental rights is done only by subtraction: a country does not respect a fundamental right, for example, or the court finds that in a particular case a fundamental right has been violated.

In this perspective, we propose to define two types of diversity: positive diversity, based on the measurement of the positive contribution of diversity to the achievement of a socially pursued objective, and negative diversity, based on a finding of discrimination. Indeed, statistics on employment discrimination give a negative measure of diversity: such a person is competent, but discrimination because of his or her older age has led to his or her exclusion. The loss for the organization is the result of the gap between the two competencies: the lowest competency chosen will give poorer results with a gap that will seek to be estimated by a negative measure of diversity. A positive measure of diversity is implemented by organizations, for example, when it is considered that a person with a diversity characteristic will add value to the team in which he or she is to be integrated.

Organization is defined by acculturation. Company or organization mergers fail quite frequently: acculturations are strongly localized within the organization, and this leads to strong disparities between organizations. The organization can also be seen as a competitive area between different groups: these siloed functions are to be avoided, and the existence of a hierarchical line within organization is justified by trade-offs being introduced in the face of these internal competitions, as Williamson’s governance theory indicates. The fundamental result is called Arrow’s impossibility theorem, which says that it is not possible to have a simple universal criterion that would allow for the unification of the preferences of, for example, a group of leaders in the same organization. The organization must therefore proceed from acculturation, combining different criteria and building consensus on the basis of these internal disparities.

Waltzer’s work on the economy of conventions circumvents Arrow’s impossibility theorem in an empirical way: there are a certain number of rules concerning justice that are used in practice, and these spheres can develop delimitations between them, establishing balances of power or forms of compromise. If an organization is too specialized, then it can be detrimental to its normativity, its capacity to generate modalities of operation being progressively reduced to a small domain, which makes it more fragile in a changing environment.

The empirical finding of the link between normativity and diversity is that organizations disappear due to a small cultural change, for example, a technological innovation. Everyone shared information about a technological transformation, for example, the transition from silver to digital photography, but many of the leading firms of the old technology remained in a position of denial, leading to their complete disappearance. Post-mortem studies of disappearing organizations involve diagnoses of different parts of these organizations (governance, human resources management, innovation and change management, relationship with the truth of an environment). These analyses indicate the loss of normativity resulting from a lack of diversity.

Table 4.1. Normativity and diversity theories

Climate or diversity theory Arguments for diversity Normativity and diversity
Theories of contingency, creativity and innovation Diversity provides local support for the diffusion of innovations. Diasporas play a role in technological diffusion, and thus propagate growth around the world. Diversity provides a context for creativity. It is based on values of perseverance shared by entrepreneurship and research The organization finds resources in a diversity of knowledge and skills beyond its core specialization to respond to a changing environment.
Otherness necessary for the truth The “otherness–truth” link introduces epistemic theories of diversity. Homogeneity cannot be the regime of a knowledge society. Organizational learning appears limited: radical innovation renews organizational forms. Diversity results from a dynamic of otherness, which is the proper movement of personal identities. The need for transformation and change is based on a production of truth that presupposes heterogeneity. Without truth, the norms will remain the same while the environment has changed.
Governance and separation of powers Michael Walzer [WAL 98] has put justice and good governance through a clear delimitation of competences. Excesses of power result from an exit from this sphere of competence of a power. A power balance approach seeks to promote diversity to limit the extraction of undivided power. Diversity affirmation policies are part of a power balancing process. Slippery situations or conflicts of interest, for example, even when the change of environment is correctly perceived, can lead to unsatisfactory norms.
Theories of operational benefits Diversity contributes to a better understanding of globalized markets. Diversity is the internal diversity of preferences, appetites, values, abilities and talents. While the tasks of an expert are those of a specialization, problemsolving tasks require a diversity of skills that are not compartmentalized. The complementarities within the teams make it possible to achieve ambitious objectives. A disparity in incentive and regulation systems due to diversity was already a major theme in Montesquieu’s work.

The content of this cultural diversity necessary to have the capacity to generate new norms in a changing environment may be different, as indicated by an empirical literature based on cases of disappearances of organizations. For example, for one firm, it had undergone a process of specialization around a very specific product, without having the know-how to produce different products. For another, the same generation had developed a world-renowned product, without the human resources policy providing a flow of team renewal. Four main families of diversity theories are mobilized in these explanations of organizational disappearance: creativity and innovation; change management and the establishment of evidence-based management; governance and the balance of power; and operational benefits (see Table 4.1).

Old climate theories, such as those of Aristotle and Montesquieu, raised concerns that were closest to those of governance and the balance of power. All ancient climate theories mainly come from a political science perspective, the dimension of intermediate decentralizations, which is that of organization, being generally absent.

The order of exposure is seen in Table 4.1. Each section includes a discussion on diversities in the fight against climate change, which will be supplemented in Chapter 5.

4.2.2. Contingency

According to contingency theories, organizational structures depend in part on contingent factors, elements external to the organization that the organization does not control, which explains their lack of uniformity. The appearance of this paradigm is a challenge that took place in the mid-20th Century to an organizational approach limited to the formulas of Taylorism. From then on, field surveys have shown great differences in organizational structures. Organizational structures do not simply result from an increasing internal rationalization, as considered by Weberian sociology, for example, but also from the consideration of external factors [MIN 82].

For normativity, Chrys Argyris introduced an important distinction between two types of organizations according to their learning capacity, either in a single loop (the organization changes its strategy and behavior due to external factors) or in a double loop (in addition, in this case, the organization changes its structure). Some organizations (those with a double learning loop) have developed a reflective capacity that induces changes in the organizational structure due to an external shock or a diffuse significant change in contingent factors. But most of the time, this reflective capacity is very limited, and there can be very significant renewals in a very large population of organizations. Each organization carries out an internal acculturation, taking into account external factors, and this gives them a short life span, even for very large units. Organizations’ cultures are palimpsests: they are written down, then erased more or less quickly, to make way for new conceptions.

In innovation theories, Utterback and Abernathy [UTT 75] proposed a differentiation of norm regimes according to the potential existence of a unifying technological scheme. An example of this scheme is the combination of an electric motor with a gasoline engine for land transport vehicles developed in 1913. This pattern remained that of vehicles until the appearance of hybrid vehicles at the end of the 20th Century, an indicator of renewal. Before the federating scheme, norms were fluid, proposing various technological paths. The federating scheme played an organizing role, placing industrial players in a compatible system of norms. The end of the cycle was marked by regulations promoting barriers to entry. The first pioneering phase was only completed relatively late (the unifying scheme was much more than just the commercial maturity of a single innovation; it combined a set of advances into a single formula that distributed all the roles in a productive sector): the situation was then one of multiple innovations in an outdated regulatory framework. Normativity is provided in the Utterback and Abernathy cycle by a clever technological combination from multiple innovative inputs. It then deteriorates, especially if a new unifying scheme is slow to emerge.

4.2.3. Otherness and truth

The link between otherness and truth is formulated in the final works of the philosophers Michel Foucault. These relate to the history of outspokenness in the cultures of antiquity by providing a renewed image of the approach of various philosophical and religious schools, through their concern to reflect on the right conditions for the exercise of this outspokenness, that of a critical attitude. The philosophers of antiquity had introduced an opposition between the Same – the invariant principles – and the Other, a category of being and thinking that brings together the variable, the diverse and the multiple. “Diversity” is a contemporary expression of the Other that philosophers of antiquity distinguished from invariant elements.

The structuralist project was probably located on the same side: it was a question of creating large, invariant, timeless structures. Foucault’s philosophy, like the historians of the Annales journal, marks a return to time and event, with a greater emphasis on historical analysis than on the work of Lévi-Strauss. The conclusion of his last lecture shortly before his death indicates that truth and identity are on the side of the Other and not the Same: “There can be no instauration of truth without an essential position of otherness: truth is never the same, there can only be truth in the form of the other world and the other life” ([FOU 09], p. 311). As for identity, the Greek sophists had already insisted on the absence of invariant elements in identity: Theseus’ boat has been anchored for a large number of years in the port of Athens, yet it had been a long time since all the boards that composed it were replaced and it was still Theseus’ boat. “If we are to situate ourselves in relation to the question of identity, it must be as unique beings. But the relationships we must maintain with ourselves are not relationships of identity, they must rather be relationships of differentiation, creation and innovation. It is very tedious to always be the same” ([FOU 01a], II, p. 1558).

Otherness is a condition for the production of truth, which establishes a link with climate change. In the search for adaptation to an environment, we must seek to recognize the reality of that environment. However, the actors, whether they are organizations or States, do not necessarily know it. However, in practice, the principle of “otherness and truth” has been used for a very long time. The Yuan emperors of China were already appealing to the merchants of Venice for the administration of their empire. They appreciated the critical eye and objective reports of these emissaries, detached from the challenges of local authorities.

Today, empirical studies provide a very mixed result on the relationship between organization and truth. To the question “does a leader always have to tell the truth to justify his choices?”, half of company managers answered “yes” and the other half “no” [LEB 07]. The “yes” defense was organized around three arguments: telling the truth is a condition for employee support, it is a condition for maintaining one’s own leadership and, finally it is a matter of personal ethics. For those who supported the “no” vote, the heterogeneity of perceptions was advanced. The truth can be hurtful. It can disintegrate social ties and destabilize the coalitions needed for the truth to prevail. And finally, for some, the choices do not have to be justified. These studies contrast at least two profiles of organizational leaders in their relationship with the truth. The profile of concealment is justified by a recognition of diversity and the need to promote an operational solution. While management literature supports a management approach based on explicit rational arguments, a somewhat opposite principle for the organization seems to be widely accepted among half of the European business leaders surveyed. For the latter, diversity is more feared in its effects than denied.

The “otherness–truth” principle can be found in the dynamics of innovation. An “essential otherness position” characterizes the influence of radical innovation. Leading established firms are at best early adopters of radical innovations. The latter are carried by new firms. The firms established are, above all, the headquarters of incremental innovation. The bankruptcy of Ilford, a former leader in photographic consumables, was a result of an incredible blindness: how could this company not believe in the transition to digital photography, which everyone else perceived? Yet this case provides a very common example for firm behavior in episodes of technological transition. This association of destruction and creation has been a founder of innovation economy since Schumpeter. An “otherness–truth” hypothesis also sheds light on this type of firm behavior.

An organization which is not based on evidence will become weakened by both a lack of internal consistency and an unrealistic vision of the firm’s or team’s environment. Diversity will help to improve decision-making processes and avoid an overly distorted and reductive perception of contextual elements for the company or organization.

4.2.4. Governance and separation of powers

Diversity theories emerge from both the political sciences and the economics of organizations. The fact that minorities are not cheated is a concern of the political system. Indeed, it often uses majority mechanisms that can seriously undermine minority rights. Diversity in the political system is of the order of the necessary corrective. This difference between an issue such as the political science of diversity and organizational diversity theory is, for example, the difference between a police officer’s viewpoint who is concerned about hate and racist speech in stadiums (on the political science side) and that of the coach of a soccer team, who is looking for the best team formation (on the organizational theory side).

In organizations, diversity must allow for efficient coordination in the pursuit of the objectives defined by the entity. Two main types of coordination failure exist: either it is not done or it is done in a sub-optimal balance. The organization, by definition, must compensate for these coordination deficiencies [MIN 82]. The role of a soccer team coach is to work on all the necessary coordinations for good team operation. This implementation of the coordination that the organization carries out maintains complex relationships with diversity. These may be favorable or unfavorable. However, homogeneity can greatly increase systemic risk: sheep-like behavior is at the root of large speculative bubbles and major market failures. The organization is understood as allowing the market to function properly, and it is therefore not a pure homogeneity of preferences within the organization that will make this possible. The exchange is based on diversity. The organization must therefore respect diversity. Diversity is more fundamental for the market than for the political system, where it is only a question of correcting electoral mechanisms, which are very imperfect by nature. Diversity, for the organization, is not just a question of governance, of correcting a decision-making procedure.

Diversity in the management team has been studied in particular by Kilduff, Angelmar and Mehra [KIL 00]. The results obtained indicate that successful teams maintain an approach with several interpretations at the beginning of the decisionmaking cycle and harmonize for greater clarity at the end of the cycle. This cognitive diversity is not affected by demographic diversity. Complementary skills and a solid practice in the emergence of operational solutions form the positive image of successful diversity in the governance of an organization.

Palich and Gomez-Mejin’s contribution ([PAL 94], p. 587) may be used to highlight the advantage of an active attitude towards globalization and the resulting diversity. The emphasis in this contribution is on the negative effects of diversity, a reluctance to merge units and to share knowledge. In academic organizations such as universities, a rather strict division into separate disciplines leads to an inefficient allocation, regardless of the public or private status of the organization and regardless of the mode of governance. The academic discipline is an example of inefficient diversity, following the studies initiated by Palich and Gomez-Mejin [PAL 94]. The concern to avoid “silo operations” within organizations reflects the existence of this normative aspect in the management of internal diversity.

Contemporary theories of power balances and jurisdictional delimitation have major theoretical contributions, such as Arrow’s impossibility theorem, which indicates that there cannot be a universal justice test that meets the minimum conditions of not depending on a context and improving well-being. However, this positive reflection on the introduction of dichotomy within the organization has been around for some time, especially since ancient climate theories, especially those offered by Montesquieu [MON 51]. Separations of powers are necessary, as seen in Montesquieu’s work discussing opposition to the religious and cultural syncretism culminating in France with the repeal of the Nantes Edict strengthening an undivided royal power. The theoretical debate in which this result was developed focused on the possible conciliation of long-term and short-term objectives within the same organization by a single criterion. Contributions based on empirical typologies indicate that there are therefore several justice criteria mobilized by each organization, with combinations of separation of powers and acculturation between several spheres of justice [WAL 98]. Good governance results from a clear delimitation of competences. Excesses of power result from an exit from this sphere of competence of a power. The power balance approach seeks to promote diversity to limit the extraction of an annuity by undivided power. These are policies of the affirmation of diversity [WAL 98].

4.2.5. Operational benefits

A first approach to the issue of diversity in relation to operational capacity is proposed by Slater, Weigand and Zwirlein [SLA 08]. This first approach consists of asking the question as simply as possible: does a firm’s commitment to diversity improve the organization’s performance (financial performance, competitiveness)? The authors matched data from similar firms, one of which was committed to diversity and another which was not. Firms with a strong commitment to diversity outperformed their peers on average. The method concluded that there is a positive relationship between diversity and performance, but it did not provide details on the firm’s balance of costs and benefits. The costs of diversity can result from specific costs affecting human resources and transaction costs resulting from diversity. The benefits of diversity can come from improved strategic decisions, better proximity to a diverse customer base, a more creative atmosphere, a truthful and transparent organizational regime, and better employee recruitment procedures. The methodology of the study by Slater, Weigand and Zwirlein makes it possible to take into account very different situations for the compared firms and to conclude, through a proposal independent of the particular contexts, on the value for the company’s performance of the commitment to diversity. This methodology does not allow us to detail the respective contributions of the different consequences of diversity.

Diversity provides a context for creativity. It is based on values of perseverance shared by entrepreneurship and research. The complementarities within the teams make it possible to achieve ambitious objectives, as evidenced by an artistic childhood for a soccer team coach. Scott E. Page’s reference book [PAG 07] is based on internal team diversity, heterogeneity of preferences, values, capacities and talents. He distinguishes between codifiable or tacit definition tasks and problem solving in a changing environment. Reasoning in specialization applies to codifiable or tacitly defined tasks. However, many of these tasks require problem solving. These do not depend on an isolated effort but on the collaborative work of different people. These collaborative tasks are those of company managers, research teams or business services. They represent about 20% of the tasks to be performed for a country like the United States. Page offers a constructive approach to diversity. What is sought is a team’s performance, which must play a role in the complementarities of its components. These teams are not subject to a dynamic of specialization: the problems they face are new and would defeat experts who are too specialized. The theory of diversity is opposed in Scott E. Page's presentation of it, specialized theories presented first by Adam Smith and then Ricardo. In a specialization theory, the one who is the least bad at baking bread will become a baker and the one who is the least bad at repairing shoes will become a shoemaker. Here, overly complex tasks require special combinations. For example, a group of children will climb the short ladder to reach the jam jar at the top of the cupboard. A tale by Grimm, “The Town Musicians of Bremen”, expresses this theory of team performance well. The animal musicians of the tale collectively manage to solve a complex task. This illustrates the opposition between expert tasks (which involve a specialty) and problem solving (which involves diversity).

4.2.6. Discussion: what diversities for the climate?

The counting of the meetings of the Great National Debate that took place in France after the social protest movement of the Yellow Vests is still ongoing. Not surprisingly, however, initial results indicate that tax policy instruments are the least appreciated in environmental policy. The reality of ecological threats, however, comes first in the concerns, a result that should be linked to field surveys in other parts of the world that indicate a very broad consensus on the reality of changing climatic conditions and their anthropogenic explanations (e.g. 98% of farmers in northern Benin express concern about changing climatic conditions [YEG 14]). Campaigns based on the denial of climate change, and its scientific explanation, are being renewed around the procrastination of the fight against climate change: there are always more urgent things to do than to worry about climate change. The claims of the Yellow Vests movement reflect aspirations for forms of direct democracy and referendum, like the citizen initiative referendum in France, without taking into account the deleterious effects of majority processes that reduce the expression of diversity and the consideration of future generations.

An interval between generations separates us from the first results indicating the mechanisms and projections of global warming. This long delay, marked by a very slow consideration of climate change, means that today attitudes to adapting to climatic conditions that modify a local environment have become very common and widely shared. Attitudes to combating climate change today must be based on a dual dimension, that of adaptation, for example, to a local threat of submersion, and that of mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. In response to the question raised in some municipalities during the 2018 Great Debate in France, “what do you intend to do to fight climate change?”, the most common answer given was: “I will sort my household waste better”, and the environmental threat was ranked first, ahead of all other concerns. Two provisional conclusions can be deduced from this discrepancy noted in the debates that followed the Yellow Vests movement:

1. the perceived actors of climate change are either people or States, thus underestimating the role of intermediary organizations (both in terms of pro-carbon policies and the fight against climate change);

2. the themes of governance and operational capacities are becoming more important. The discussions of the Great Debate following the Yellow Vests movement in France testify to a search for a balance of power reconciling the interests of the short and long terms, as well as forms of individual commitment to the environment that are widely shared but lack an organized intermediary relay.

The intersection between a diversity theme and the fight against climate change is easily perceived in the combination of discriminatory and fossil energy policies of the Trump administration. The necessary choices of organizations to improve their operational capacities and balance their internal powers positively decline the theme of diversity, indicating that between climate and diversity important determinations exist and have even been apparent in the oldest theoretical formulations of climate theories.

4.3. The hard and soft law discussion

While the international framework to combat climate change is a right of accountability, it leaves organizations and States free to decide which forms of action to consider. The case of the Trump administration is that of a voluntary exit from the fight against climate change and the repeal of environmentally friendly laws, such as the 2012 law on reducing carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption. Upon the announcement of this abolition, a coalition of car manufacturers indicated that it would continue to apply the norms previously defined in 2012. The resignation of hard law leaves only voluntary norms and the action of local authorities, i.e. a soft law.

The 2012 US measure to limit emissions per vehicle has been criticized, in particular by William Nordhaus [NOR 19], who is unconditionally in favor of the carbon tax, the lowest price, in theory, per tonne of greenhouse gases (GHGs) avoided. France opted for the carbon tax in 2014, with a planned increase in the amount of the tax. In particular, the 2012 US law limiting vehicle emissions favors manufacturers that have invested in innovative technologies such as hybrid engines, which was not the case for historical French firms. The Yellow Vests social movement in France took place in 2018 when the carbon tax was raised from €44 to €55 per tonne, freezing it at the low value of €44. French public action based on tax adjustments has brought emotional reactions from owners of vehicles in the old technological sector who have felt stigmatized by this tax policy.

In the case of the 2012 legislation in the United States, this corresponded to the synchronization phase provided by a new technological scheme unifying the Utterback and Abernathy approach, while the 2014 French provision corresponded to the final phase of an old technological scheme in the same theoretical approach. In this phase, public action reflects the defensive strategies of established firms.

The optimal policy is often conceived in a simple way, but the effective implementation of this policy can be delayed, through a long process of collective learning, developing different phases where the respective roles of hard law and soft law are redefined. We cite here several examples: the Kigali agreement on hydrofluorocarbons of October 2016, policies in favor of diversity already mentioned, and the road safety policy, a major theme in the mobilization of the Yellow Vests in France in 2018.

In 2009, the production of gases that destroy the stratospheric ozone layer was stopped worldwide, marking a success of the 1985 Montreal Protocol on the Protection of the Ozone Layer. This protocol was concluded on the basis of the existence of a unifying technological scheme, the use of hydrofluorocarbons no longer having a destructive effect on the ozone layer. However, the latter have proved to be powerful short-lived greenhouse gases, so that the Kigali agreement is of the hard law type, with sanctions in the event of non-compliance. The Kigali program is for an 85% reduction in these gases by 2047 at the latest [HET 19]. The sequence here has been soft law (the initial agreement of the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer which was not binding), followed by the federating technological scheme (Montreal), then hard law (Kigali).

Diversity has received increasing attention in both the literature and organizational discourse and is reflected in a group of diversity norms, both positive or negative. There are hard laws focused on the fight against discrimination and soft laws such as the Diversity Charter led by a coalition of companies, as well as management certifications for a positive approach to diversity. According to Shaffer and Pollack [SHA 11], companies jointly use hard and soft laws, not by considering them as two complementary sources in an evolutionary logic but as antagonistic provisions where soft laws undermine hard laws. All these norms are presented as incentives, soft laws, in other words in opposition to the strict laws with a right to apply sanctions, hard laws [BIA 00]. Soft laws aim to encourage companies to be more diverse, they are not free from criticism because of the absence of a verification mechanism ([RAS 09], p. 524), hence the creation of certification processes to identify and promote the commitments of the most advanced organizations in terms of diversity. Diversity norms have been created in an atmosphere of crisis since the 1970s, that of discrimination in the labor market. They question the integration of individuals into society in accordance with republican universalism. Anti-discrimination laws, termed hard laws because of their punitive nature, have gradually given way to a “positive” discourse on diversity through soft laws [ABB 00]. In France, these are the Diversity Charter, management certifications and also city policies aimed at specific groups to promote equal opportunities. Soft laws thus contribute to reinvigorating the major theme of living together in a democracy.

The literature on hard and soft laws documents the following two cases: one as in the previous example where the two formulations reinforce each other, and another where soft law undermines hard law [SHA 11]. The history of road safety in France presents a third case, the opposite of the previous one, i.e. hard law has undermined soft law. Before the 1970s in France, only local authorities introduced speed limits (often 45 km/h), and these were systematically opposed by the State, which imposed a high speed of 60 km/h for crossing urban areas. Then, road engineering dependent on the public authorities set the regulatory speed using an 85th percentile rule from the recorded speeds, tolerating many exceedances of the set rule. Since the 1990s, real road safety engineering has been introduced, particularly at the instigation of large metropolitan areas, and this unifying technological scheme has led to a considerable reduction in road problems in France. The system for detecting and punishing road traffic offences is becoming effective. The Yellow Vests social movement began with a top-down decision to reduce the speed limit on secondary roads to 80 km/h in 2018. The demands of this social movement remain an alternative public and political alternative, in the form of a hard law approach, with regard to the environmental field: the emphasis on progressive taxation for companies, better support for housing insulation, blocking the level of fuel taxes, the development of the hydrogen network, the lowering of electricity prices and the introduction of taxes on aviation kerosene and maritime heavy fuel oil.

However, these various situations can be considered in a synthetic way by taking into account the gap between the two norms, soft and hard law. Degraded situations correspond to a significant gap, the lowest social or environmental norm being carried by one of the two norms as the case may be. The adjustments and synchronization of soft and hard laws are facilitated by the existence of an innovative and unifying technological scheme, which allows the coordination of the different actors (see Figure 4.1).


Figure 4.1. Hard and soft law

4.4. Normativity and climate migration

Contemporary climate change is changing people’s travel plans to a relative extent. Personal situations can be very diverse, ranging from the risk of climate statelessness for submerged coral reef inhabitants in the short term, to new seasonal migration destinations, to forcibly displaced people through interventionist public policies. Climate refugees adapt through migration to the hazards of extreme and sudden climatic events or to situations of slow deterioration of their living conditions, repeated high temperatures and droughts, rising waters, more irregular rains affecting crops and displacement of fishing areas.

Migration strategies to adapt to climate change are in opposition to strategies based on infrastructure policies: either, for example, a huge dike is built in front of the rising water level, or the residence is moved so that it is out of reach of the rising water level. Excluding the migration strategy of adaptation would lead to proposing plans to build illusory Maginot lines in the face of the multiple risks induced by climate change [NOR 19]. Adaptation of coastal territories can combine voluntary development and spatial flexibility in the proper management of available resources, for example by restoring mangroves. Among the indicators for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (2015–2030) is the existence of risk information plans, which implicitly amounts to promoting individual responsibility and migration strategies in the face of natural risks. Infrastructure policies are present in the SDGs; however, the main shortcoming of the resilience policy is the failure to take climate distress into account [CAL 16].

Adaptation to climate change can involve two major mechanisms, either migration or sedentarization, which makes digital projections of the number of climate refugees very uncertain, for example by 2050. Due to delays in mitigation policy, adaptation growth is anticipated. However, the perceptible increase in migration tensions suggests that the migration strategy content of this adaptation is high. There may be factors that stem from the dynamics of contemporary climate change, such as changes in rainfall patterns. Deforestation is a factor of migration, while forest development has been a major factor in sedentarization in prehistoric and historical times. Institutional factors may play a role, such as the failure of public policies to take into account the transition resulting from climate change. A survey in 2012 indicated that Saudi Arabia had the dual characteristic of having the highest percentage of climate migration intentions due to the degradation of local environmental conditions and the lowest ranking in international rankings for the dynamism of local policies to combat climate change.

Climate change remains relatively slow over a lifetime, and climate migration is mainly short, short-distance travel. However, the succession of generations can lead to migratory flows due to bioclimatic contexts. Large human migrations due to climate change have in the past occurred at a low rate, for example, at most one kilometer per year on average for the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. Faced with a retreat of a few meters a year from the coast, adaptive responses remain mainly short-distance migrations. The largest share of the population, estimated at an average of 27 million climate refugees per year on a 10-year average, is that of internally displaced people in major Asian countries, China, India, the Philippines and Indonesia (17 million of the 24.2 million displaced people in 2016) [TET 18]. Indonesia has just confirmed the planned relocation of the capital Jakarta and its 10 million inhabitants to a neighboring island, due to the slow flooding of the big city. This decision clearly indicates the statistical patterns of climate migration, namely the importance of Asia and of relative proximity travel.

4.4.1. Climate motivations in migration

Climate migration can increase existing migration or create new migration developments. Climate migrations are mainly of a general South/South orientation like other types of migrations, but they are upward, i.e. with an attraction for higher areas. The more traditional polarizations of temporary or permanent migration are:

  • – those from the countryside to the cities, with climate migration reinforcing this city/rural dichotomy. From a global history perspective, the emergence of cities is taking place in a context of increasing aridity;
  • – those who prefer sunny destinations. A weakening of this heliotropic characteristic due to climate change can be assumed. “Climbing” behavior is developing, as evidenced by an overcrowding of mountain areas;
  • – those of dictatorial countries or political movements that massacre their own people in the event of their dissatisfaction. Among the causes of discontent, there may be losses related to degradation due to the climatic situation, but the principle and dynamics of these migratory flows are not fundamentally changed. The main risk is first and foremost political;
  • – those fleeing in the face of abuses by armed gangs. The activity of war entrepreneurs can be stimulated by an increase in spatial contrasts due to climate change. The contrast between more fertile and arid areas is increasing, leading to opportunistic behavior of armed gang predation on the surpluses brought about by these climate-related changes. Climate change is changing the routes of armed gang raids and, because of this, may partially alter the mapping of areas of departure of international migrants;
  • those related to a search for the improvement of the personal economic situation, for example east–west migration flows within the European Union. The fight against climate change requires the modernization of former productive areas, such as those of coal mines in Eastern Europe. This results in a more homogeneous European production area. The fight against climate change leads to professional mobility, from coal miners to wind farm technicians, rather than to spatial mobility with a large radius of action.

The reasons for climate migration come from a lack of a long-term perspective. The high percentage of declarations of intent to migrate to high-income countries from oil rent countries can be understood through a lack of preparation for an oil exit that is expected in a relatively short time horizon. These declarations of intent, if followed up, would lead to an unprecedented migratory flow from places overexposed to the consequences of climate change, without a credible local adaptation policy, to refuge areas, rather “good pupils” in the fight against climate change.

The retention capacity of populations in fossil fuel areas is poor. The material world of producing these energies is not idyllic, even if politicians can cultivate nostalgia for old industries, out of kilter with the reality of a large part of the underemployed working population: large-scale technological disasters, very poor working conditions and low wages.

Concerning climate migrations, William Nordhaus points out that the upward migration of higher-occupancy places is at the expense of economic potential; low areas are generally richer [NOR 19]. Vineyards stretched further south during the Little Ice Age, as evidenced by the Graves de Bordeaux estate, converted into a vineyard during the time of Montesquieu’s father. Vine-growing and winemaking techniques make it possible to manage a small climatic variation. However, the ascension mechanics are already at work. On a European terroir producing a famous wine, the value of 30 m has been calculated due to recent climate changes. To obtain a grape of the same quality, this difference in size between the vines between 1950 and today corresponds to a temperature variation of slightly less than one degree. The most vulnerable vineyards are those located further south in low-lying areas. Hillside cultivation makes it easier to bring a little freshness to the grapes. A failure of the commitments made in the Paris Agreement would lead to a general redefinition of the vineyard map. This new map would be unfavorable to the Mediterranean areas and favorable to southern Argentina and northern Europe. This situation, that of a failure of the Paris Agreements, would introduce a question of justice and migration, but not necessarily technological development and services. The first situation, that of a positive dynamic resulting from the Paris Agreements, introduces a more limited problem of justice: costs related to the implementation of new cultivation and winemaking practices. As a general rule, the stationary factor is the one that bears the losses. In the first case, the loser is the winegrower who is technologically immobile; in the second case, the loser is the owner from the South who has not anticipated the migration to new terroirs.

Among the migrations linked to the transformations of human activities, some are essential for the success of the fight against climate change. The energy transition is leading to a rapid expansion of renewable and sustainable energy jobs, which now account for more than 11 million jobs worldwide. On the other hand, jobs directly linked to fossil fuels will eventually disappear, which will lead to a modernization of economies, the only way to provide work for countries where a handful of leaders are squeezed to distribute their fossil energy income. In a country like Algeria, the national gas company provides two-thirds of the domestic product with a few thousand jobs and offers little prospect to a young population. The existence of these mining, gas and oil rents is a factor of political instability, with recurrent civil wars for the control of financial revenues linked to fossil fuels.

4.4.2. Competition of norms in soft and hard law

The Paris Agreements are based on a soft law scheme, that of “pot luck”. Each country had to bring its own climate change program to Paris. This results in a gap between the sum of what is proposed, leading to a warming of 3 to 4° in 2100, and the common objective set, to obtain a contained warming at 2°, and if possible a sufficient inflection to return to a value of 1.5° by the end of the century. The field of major disasters and environmental problems is an important area for the production of norms, so their efficiency, coherence and quality may be insufficient. The situation of the Paris Agreements is that of a global pot luck where contributions are far from meeting collective objectives. An assessment made [WIL 16] shortly after the Paris Agreements concluded on three points:

1) in the actions proposed by States, climate migration is not mentioned. They are by no means anticipated by public policies around the world. The phenomena are poorly known, conceptualizations are absent;

2) spontaneous climate migration transfers difficulties to urban areas. A vulnerable and deprived population is growing up in megacities in poor living conditions;

3) climate migration is declining positively, with spatial and professional flexibility. It is preferable to illusory large-scale technological solutions for adaptation, which are often ineffective and costly.

The protection of international migrants in migration policies is the subject of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, a global pact signed in Marrakech in December 2018. The provision is of the soft law type, non-binding, and aims to provide an ethical guideline against excesses committed against migrants in the context of national migration policies. The examination of the theme of migration in the program of the Sustainable Development Goals for the period 2015–2030 indicates similar concerns to that of the Marrakech Pact, the ethical framework for national migration policies. Migration policies are subject to regulatory competition in the North, i.e. soft law acts as a basic and consensual ethical reminder of international migration in the face of domestic political games of nationalist and xenophobic one-upmanship.

For climate migrants, the Marrakech Pact goes no further than a general recommendation to “cooperate to find solutions to the problems” arising from climate change. The only existing law on climate migration at the moment is the African Union’s Kampala Convention adopted in 2012. It is intended to protect the rights of internally displaced people, due to armed conflict or climate degradation, under a hard law/soft law formula of the “European directive” type with transposition into national legislation of the directive, and only soft law for African countries that have not done so.

The general situation of migration law is that of a hard law that needs to be renewed. The legal framework for migration still in use today is old in origin, dating precisely from the end of World War II, when the main concern was to thwart the policy retention policies of countries that opposed any emigration. The hard law on migration is therefore particularly obsolete: it was defined on the basis of a political migration situation at the beginning of the Cold War. Three major forms of migration can be listed: political, economic and climatic migration. Hard law totally ignores climate migration and remains particularly complex for other types of migration.

The situation of soft law is that it must trigger a positive emulation. Through successive learning, it is hoped that the Paris Agreements can stimulate commitments to the desired level collectively. Soft law is also used to calm the game of regulatory and criminal overbidding. The political game favors hard law solutions, which often lead to ill-prepared, hasty actions that are in opposition to the aspirations of intermediary organizations. The situation of migration rights is that of an old right, the 1951 definition, based on the existence of politically motivated persecutions and the existence of a direct and immediate threat, two legal conditions that are not met by the inhabitant who leaves his coral reef before it is completely destroyed. A new unifying scheme can emerge from the inclusion of climate-displaced people in migration law.

The legal situation of the climate migrant is an example of the limits of the framework set by the Paris Agreements. The climate migrant migrates from the nearest, universal place – in the sense that it can occur in all regions of the globe, the sea rises everywhere in the world, for example – to a place of climate security (new urban area, city, mountainous island). Migration often anticipates a future disaster; it is better to leave the coral reef before it is submerged.

In 2015, New Zealand courts refused entry to the territory of a resident of an island threatened by flooding. The reason was based on legal conventions that required the existence of a political cause as a reason for migration. However, in 2017, the New Zealand authorities introduced a climate visa procedure. This pragmatic approach was recommended in the 2018 Global Compact on Migration. As well as this example of the climate migrant, who was not political enough, there are examples of decisions on the contrary. The proceedings brought by a village located in Alaska while traveling to a new location in the United States against major GHG emitting companies were deemed inadmissible by a Californian judge on the grounds that the proceedings were of a political nature and therefore outside the jurisdiction of his court. The local authority must complete its move before 2025 due to the destruction of housing following global warming, but the costs remain entirely at its own expense, according to this court decision. These court decisions are not conducive to resilience. For major natural hazards, the loss of resilience is greater for owners than for tenants. These court decisions, which are based on a victim pays principle, play a role in reducing resilience, particularly for owners who bear the full weight of the damage. Within the framework of the proposed paradigm of resilience normativity, it can therefore be concluded that this objective is not currently being achieved in the area of climate change.

Regarding the Earth, everyone is the guardian. However, an environmental law must specify the delimitation of competences, the procedures for monitoring commitments made and the frameworks favorable to the deployment of operational capabilities. The major environmental issues prior to the start of the fight against climate change (acid rain, ozone layer protection, oil spills) were resolved largely through negotiations between the public agency and “big chimneys”, the main companies involved in the problem. Thus, there is no general incapacity in the formation of resilience normativity.

The situation in the fight against climate change is more complex, with public agencies depending on the States, which themselves own the subsoil resources. In the post-Kyoto negotiation phase, Ecuador’s then President Rafael Correa offered the following deal to other states: he agreed not to exploit oil resources located in an Amazonian reserve of great value for biodiversity, the Yasuni National Park, in exchange for financial compensation, the amount of which he had set. A foundation associated with the park was created, but only one-third of the requested amount was raised, so the project was abandoned by the Ecuadorian State [VIV 16]. The episode highlighted the importance of green finance and promoted the idea of emulation from each country’s climate change programs.

  1. 1 Article 225-1, amended by Act No. 2016-1547 of 18 November 2016 – art. 86. https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/ (accessed August 31, 2018).
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