State-centric law appears ill equipped to meet human rights’ emancipatory promise in an increasingly pluralistic, unequal world facing climate change. ‘Climate justice’ has become a counterpoint to hegemonic statist, neoliberal climate approaches. However, few studies address the confluence of competing norms (including rights), power relations and multiple actors in shaping, contesting and reinterpreting climate justice in specific contexts, despite burgeoning human rights and legal pluralism research. This article explores legal pluralism’s potential for understanding rights’ roles in climate justice through examining Norway. Legal pluralism reveals how Norwegian ‘translators’ vernacularise transnational climate justice aspects, including international climate law and policy, into relevant movement frames, but within unequal power relations and hegemonic processes. These translators balance encouragement and critique of Norway’s high-profile international climate positioning, finding spaces within hegemonic discourses where movements can turn prevalent global, statist frames inward, decentering climate discourses by highlighting Norway’s structural links to climate injustice, particularly its petroleum industry. Rights are used in varying ways in both disaggregating diagnostic frames and stressing more prognostic, transformative visions. Increasingly, climate justice and Norwegian ‘klimarettferdighet’ [climate justice] discourses move from a focus on countering international, statist discourses to domestic distribution and economic transitions. This combines climate justice with Norwegian civic participatory and social democratic norms of active civil society and social movement involvement in socioeconomic transformations, providing potentially resonant frames for tackling climate change.
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