Russian discourses on benefts and threats from international climate diplomacy

Climatic Change, Vol 170, published online 07.02.2022. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-021-03299-3

The Russian climate policy debate pays special interest to the economic and political benefits and threats related to international climate policy. Applying critical discourse analysis, in this study, I dismantle issue discourses into sub-discourses, identifying six central themes, and then discuss the truth-value of the claims made. Policy decisions relevant to climate diplomacy are often in line with sub-discourses of low truth-value. Thus, socially constructed reality can go against statistical data and scientific research, setting the context for policy decisions and international climate cooperation. That makes it difficult to influence Russia’s climate position or domestic policies by sharing knowledge. However, the sub-discourses also indicate a domestic debate on Russia’s climate-diplomacy options—a debate of higher truth-value that may influence constructions of social reality. Thus far, the Russian government has managed to avoid costly domestic emissions-reduction measures. However, the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) will impose carbon costs on Russian export products, forcing reconsideration of this social reality.