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Keywords:

  • climate finance;
  • environmental governance;
  • performativity;
  • financialisation

Abstract

This paper is an empirical case study of the institutional design process of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from December 2011 to May 2014. Powerful countries, corporations and banks have favoured a deepening of neoliberal environmental governance, while civil society actors have argued over retaining movement concepts, won small representational victories, while participating in a process that has subjected them to a deepened practise of advanced liberal governance. The process has thus far produced “non-outcomes” that fail to meet hopes that the GCF could provide a significant scaling up and paradigm shift in global climate finance. However, civil society engagement appears to be, somewhat inadvertently, exposing the “overflows”, limits and contradictions inherent in advanced liberal governance. The impasse created has prompted alternative governmentalities to emerge, not least of spectacle and (non-)performativity, which may be generating an anti-politics in environmental governance.