Enfranchising the future: Climate justice and the representation of future generations

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Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 1757-7799, Vol 10, Num 5, 2019, Pag e598

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Representing unborn generations to more suitably include future interests in today's climate policymaking has sparked much interest in recent years. In this review we survey the main proposed instruments to achieve this effect, some of which have been attempted in polities such as Israel, Philippines, Wales, Finland, and Chile. We first review recent normative work on the idea of representing future people in climate governance: The grounds on which it has been advocated, and the main difficulties that traditional forms of representation have encountered when applied to this particular case. We then survey existing institutional means to represent generations to come. We separate out representation in courts, in parliament, and by independent bodies, and review specific instruments including climate litigation, parliamentary commissions, future representatives, youth quotas, and independent offices for future generations. We examine the particular forms whereby each of these may suitably represent future people, including audience representation, surrogate representation, and indicative representation, and discuss the main challenges they encounter in so doing.

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Climate justice, Future generations, Legal representation, Political representation


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