“Infrastructural geopolitics” of climate knowledge: the Brazilian Earth System Model and the North-South knowledge divide

Jean Carlos Hochsprung Miguel, Martin Mahony, Marko Synésio Alves Monteiro

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Abstract

This article examines how geopolitics are embedded into the efforts of Southern nations that try to build new climate knowledge infrastructures. It achieves this through an analysis of the composition of the international climate modelling basis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), viewed from the perspective of the Brazilian Earth System Model (BESM) – the scientific project which placed a Latin American country for the first time inside the global modelling bases of the IPCC. The paper argues that beyond the idea of “infrastructural globalism”, a historical process of global scientific cooperation led by developed countries, we also need to understand the “infrastructural geopolitics” of climate models. This concept seeks to describe the actions of developing countries towards minimizing the imbalance of global climate scientific production, and how these countries participate in global climate governance and politics. The analysis of the construction of BESM suggests that national investments in global climate modelling were aimed at attaining scientific sovereignty, which is closely related to a notion of political sovereignty of the nation-state within the international regime of climate change.
Translated title of the contribution“Infrastructural geopolitics” of climate knowledge: the Brazilian Earth System Model and the North-South knowledge divide
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)44-75
JournalSociologias
Volume21
Issue number51
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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